The Audi TT might be on the chopping block
Just a few weeks after introducing the 20th Anniversary Edition of the Audi TT sports car, Audi CEO Bram Schot indicated it might be the last go-round for the TT. Schot told Autocar that Audi is considering ending the TT’s run, at least in its familiar two-door coupe and convertible form.
Asked about the TT’s future, Schot said, “That’s a very good question. I think there’s a future for an [Audi] icon, but I don’t know if it’s a TT. My heart bleeds when you ask that question!”
It’s apparently a difficult decision for the people at Audi to make—the TT, launched in 1999, was a Bauhaus-inspired stroke of design genius that had a huge impact on the industry. Even though it’s been years since the TT sold in any significant numbers, Audi’s only other truly driver-focused coupe is the R8 supercar.
Similar to how Ford Motor Company plans to introduce a Mustang-inspired crossover EV, if the TT nameplate survives, it might be on something with a different form factor than a two-door coupe. It has been rumored that the TT’s successor could be a four-door liftback, like a shrunken-down version of the A5 Sportback.
TT sales peaked in the U.S. in 2001, when Audi sold 12,523 examples. It hasn’t sold more than 5000 annual units since 2004, and last year dealers sold only 1289 of them.
Low-volume sports cars are tougher than ever to make profitable in today’s landscape. Mercedes already announced it is killing the SLC roadster, and you could argue that the only way BMW was able to make the new Z4 roadster work was by sharing its platform with the Toyota Supra. Some companies have turned to such partnerships to support affordably-priced sports cars, including the Mazda Miata/Fiat 124, as well as the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ.
Hey, VW/Audi, we wouldn’t mind a U.S. return for the Corrado or Scirocco—there’s platform sharing that we could get behind.