2023 is a bittersweet yr for the enduring Audi TT. It’s no secret the TT is exiting the market because the German automaker unveiled the TT RS Heritage Version in 2022 to rejoice the sports activities automobile’s ultimate hurrah in North America. Nevertheless, 2023 occurs to mark the 25th birthday of the Audi TT. Just like the legendary but tragic members of rock and roll’s 27 Membership (Alan Wilson, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, and others), the TT is simply too younger to say goodbye. The query is will its legacy reside on?
From Idea to Manufacturing
The Audi TT gave the shopping for public a contemporary notion of the model with the 4 interlocking rings. Launched as an idea in 1995 as an finally fascinating 2+2 sports activities automobile, the primary manufacturing TT rolled off the meeting line in 1998 with little variations from the idea automobile that debuted three years earlier.
“To us, the best reward was when the commerce press famous appreciatively that not a lot had modified from the examine to the sequence mannequin, though we did, in fact, should adapt many particulars as a result of technical specs for the sequence model, together with the proportions,” mentioned Audi designer Torsten Wenzel. “Most noticeable was the combination of a rear facet window, which elongated the automobile’s profile and elevated the dynamics.”
Promoting Like Hotcakes
The primary-gen Audi TT rode on VW Golf Mk IV underpinnings just like the Audi A3 and got here with turbocharged four-cylinder and V6 engines. Audi launched the TT Roadster in 1999 and offered over 90,000 drop-top TTs till 2006 (Audi offered 178,765 Audi TT Coupes in the identical timeframe). And whereas the second and third-gen TT didn’t benefit from the industrial success of their predecessor, they did open the doorways for brand new expertise within the German automaker’s loveable sports activities automobile.
As an illustration, the second-gen Audi TT Coupe and Roadster that debuted in 2006 and 2007 utilized the structure of the model’s second-gen Audi A3. As well as, the brand new TT got here with optionally available adaptive dampers and magnetic experience suspension for the primary time. In 2008, Audi debuted the TTS with a 268-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The TT RS adopted in 2009 with a 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo with 335 horsepower (355 horses within the TT RS Plus) beneath the hood.
Shedding Weight & Including Tech
The third-generation TT that debuted in 2014 emphasised shedding extra weight to enhance dealing with and efficiency. Consequently, Audi claims the TT Coupe with a 2.0-liter TFSI engine and guide gearbox was 110 lbs. (50 kilos) lighter than earlier than, tipping the scales at solely 2,711 lbs. (1,230 kilos). Moreover, the third-gen TT debuted trademarked Audi expertise just like the model’s digital cockpit (digital instrument cluster) and natural LED lights or OLED, options that trickled right down to different Audi automobiles in a while.
The third-gen TT additionally featured stronger engines. The range-topping TTS, with a 2.0-liter turbo engine, had 305 horsepower, whereas the TT RS of 2016 had a 394-horsepower five-cylinder turbo unit.
Audi TT RS Heritage Version
Earlier than the curtain closes, Audi has the TT RS Heritage Version for North American patrons. It inherited the high-strung 2.5-liter turbocharged five-banger from the 2016 variant, together with Quattro AWD and a seven-speed dual-clutch computerized.
With the engine sending 394 horsepower and 354 lb-ft. of torque to all 4 wheels, the heritage mannequin rushes from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. Outfitted with 20-inch wheels, a efficiency exhaust, an Alcantara inside, and heritage colorways, it’s a becoming sendoff for Audi’s sports activities automobile. Solely 50 TT Heritage Version fashions will arrive stateside, making it rarer than some unique supercars.
There’s a silver lining among the many clouds. Audi clarified in 2019 that the TT would most likely return as an all-electric sports activities automobile (we hope the identical will probably be true for the R8 GT). If true, we anticipate the TT moniker to have extra birthdays within the a long time to return.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog characteristic columnist and an skilled in sports activities and efficiency vehicles. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his youthful years and continues to be very a lot smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He additionally likes fried hen, music, and natural medication.
Images & Supply: Audi of America.