Home » The Audi TT Is Finally Dead. Here’s Why It Was Such A Wonderful Car

The Audi TT Is Finally Dead. Here’s Why It Was Such A Wonderful Car

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A glorious and timeless German car has met its end. Production of the wonderful Audi TT has ended after over 25 years of making enthusiasts’ hearts skip a beat with its scintillating design and drivers happy with ample performance. As the book closes on this coupe and roadster, let’s take a look into what made the Audi TT a car worth remembering. Perhaps it’s even worthy of being caused an automotive legend.

The news of the TT’s departure is a sad one and it comes to us from Audi Tradition, Audi Germany’s collection of important vehicles from its colorful history. According to Audi, the very last TT was constructed on November 10 at the Győr, Hungary plant, capping off a production run spanning over 25 years, three generations, and the manufacture of 662,762 vehicles. Thankfully, the very last is going to a good home as part of the Audi Tradition collection. What’s next is anyone’s guess as reportedly, the brand plans on replacing the TT with an EV that could be a crossover.

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Either way, the Audi TT as we know it will soon fade into the pages of history. Let’s send it off with a bang.

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How A Car Gets Named After A Motorcycle Race

If you’re familiar with the Audi TT, you know that Audi’s naming of the vehicle is a reference to the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, the high-octane full-throttle motorcycle race that makes your heart pound even when you’re just a spectator. But the Audi TT is a car, not a bike. How did this happen?

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As Audi writes, the TT’s story started with motorcycles. NSU and DKW were two of the companies that merged to become what we call Audi today. Long before that happened, NSU and DKW were both known for their advanced motorcycles.

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In the late 1920s, German engineer Adolf Schnürle invented a loop-scavenging system. In the Schnürle porting system, there are two angled intake ports that flank a singular exhaust port on the same side of the cylinder. This design allows the incoming fuel to effectively push the burned fuel out without the waste and without the need for a deflector piston. Schnürle porting allows gas to flow in a loop. DKW incorporated this design in its DKW RT125 motorcycle and, after World War II, war reparations meant the design would end up in the hands of other manufacturers. This engineering paid off in races. Audi says DKW motorcycles racked up “innumerable” championship titles, Grand Prix victories, six-day trial wins, off-road events, and record-breaking runs.

In 1938, a DKW motorcycle raced in the English Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man. Two-time champion Ewald Kluge piloted the DKW ULD 250 and the motorcycle became the first bike not built in Great Britain to win the race in 30 years. After World War II, DKW motorcycles racked up win after win in 125cc and 250cc classes and a championship win in the 350cc class. Those were just the motorcycles. DKW, which was originally founded as Rasmussen & Ernst company in 1902 or 1904, wasn’t just a motorcycle racing and manufacturing powerhouse, but its cars set speed records, won races, and experimented with technologies such as front-wheel-drive while doing so.

The other company involved in this was NSU. Established as Mechanische Werkstätte zur Herstellung von Strickmaschinen in 1873, the company started as a manufacturer of knitting machines and then bicycles. NSU was also an early pioneer in motorcycles.

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In 1905, the then-young company set a two-horsepower motorcycle record in the Eisenach–Berlin–Eisenach, a race over 410 miles in length. Just two years later, the company would place a high finish at the Tourist Trophy. NSU continued winning after, with a 65 mph speed run in 1908, a cross-country run of the United States in 1910, and a Tourist Trophy Gold Medal in 1911.

NSU continued its wins into the 1930s and even after WWII as well, from Audi:

In 1947, NSU claimed the German championship titles in the 600cc and 1000cc supercharged sidecar categories. A year later Wilhelm Herz became German champion on a 350cc supercharged NSU motorcycle. Heiner Fleischmann was German champion in 1950. In 1953 Werner Haas took two world championship titles, in the 125cc and 250cc classes; he also won the German championship titles twice in these classes.

NSU celebrated its greatest victory in the 1954 “Tourist Trophy” (TT) on the Isle of Man. The brand won the 125cc class, and crossed the line in places 1 to 4 in the 250cc class.

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That same year Haas triumphed in the 250cc world championship, with Rupert Hollaus taking the equivalent title in the 125cc class. Two German championship titles also went to Haas, in the 125cc and 250cc classes. Top honours in the 350cc class handed Hermann Paul Müller the German championship title. NSU contested 24 races and won them all. In 1955 Müller became the world’s first privateer to win a world championship, on an NSU Sportmax in the 250cc class. But the brand did not only celebrate success in circuit racing: from 1955 to 1967, NSU secured 23 German off-road championship titles.

Of course, who can forget NSU’s work with rotary engines? NSU had its hands in some incredible engineering and it was backed up with solid racing. Audi says the TT’s name celebrates this great racing history. It’s also a nod to the NSU Prinz TT, a hopped-up Prinz featuring a two-barrel carburetor, disc brakes, and a 1.1-liter-four pumping out 55 HP.

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From The Nsu Prinz To Bergmeister

The little Prinz TT itself proved to be a successful racer in hillclimb events.

Timeless Design

What would become the Audi TT started as a concept sketched by American designers. As Metropolis Magazine writes, the design for the future TT was drawn on a piece of paper in 1994. The vehicle’s main exterior designer was Freeman Thomas, who then worked at the Volkswagen Group Design Center in California under the lead of then Head of Design Peter Schreyer. Aiding Thomas was J Mays, a former BMW designer who was also involved in the designs for the Audi 100 C4, Volkswagen Golf Mk3, and the Volkswagen Polo.

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Schreyer’s team was tasked with the mission of creating a pure sports car with a fresh, progressive design. For his part, Thomas drew from the past to create the future. The Audi TT’s design was influenced by Auto Union racecars of the 1930s as well as Porsche racers from the 1950s.

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Having a brilliant exterior design would be enough, but the interior was also another high note of the original TT. Interior design was handled by an Avengers-esque team including Hartmut Warkuss, Martin Smith, Romulus Rost, and Peter Schreyer. Rost was inspired by how baseball gloves cup a ball in place and thus wanted to translate that to car seats. This is why you can find the TT with fantastic seats that look like baseball gloves. That’s just part of the equation. The team also sought to create a driver-centric cockpit with design taking inspiration from art of the day including architecture, fashion, and music.

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Audi presented the design study at IAA in Frankfurt in September 1995. The automaker says the crowd was stunned. The ideas of Thomas, Mays, and the design team culminated in a vehicle with a timeless aesthetic. It was as much art as it was a sports car. Just a few months later, Audi decided to put the vehicle into production, and the TT became a rare example of a production car that was faithful to the concept. From Audi:

In December 1995, the decision was made to mass-produce the Audi TT Coupé. Torsten Wenzel, the exterior designer at Audi who helped introduce the study to series production, recalls: “To us, the greatest praise was when the trade press noted appreciatively that not much had changed from the study to series model, although we did, of course, have to adapt many details due to the technical specifications for the series version, including the proportions.” Most noticeable was the integration of a rear side window, which elongated the car’s profile and increased the sports car’s dynamics. For Wenzel, the Audi TT remains “a driving sculpture, with highest-quality surfaces and lines.” The body of the Audi TT appears to be made from one piece, he says, and the front end without traditional bumper overhangs emphasizes its clear form.

Audi Tt Coupe Concept 1995 1600 01

Another design element contributes to the unmistakable silhouette of the Audi TT Coupé: the circle – “the perfect graphic shape,” as Wenzel describes it. Numerous circular elements inspired the sports car’s exterior and interior design. Inspired by Bauhaus, every line in the Audi TT has a purpose, every shape a function. “At Audi Design, we always follow the philosophy of ‘less is more’. Bringing out the Audi TT Coupé’s unique character by reducing it to the essentials was a challenging and special undertaking for us designers.”

The Audi TT’s body utilized laser welding in its construction, leading to a clean seamless form. Reportedly, this is part of why it took Audi until 1998 to get the TT onto the market. Unfortunately for Audi, the problems didn’t stop with manufacturing. Early TTs were notorious for crashing, sometimes causing deaths, due to stability problems above 110 mph. Audi’s fix was to add a spoiler and stability control.

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Audi Tts Concept 1995 1600 01

With the issues ironed out, the TT would go on to become an award-winning coupe and roadster. In the early days of the TT, you couldn’t even get it with anything other than a manual transmission. First-generation cars were available with a 1.8-liter turbo four rated for 180 HP or 225 HP and could be had in front-wheel-drive or Quattro configuration. You could have also gotten your TT with a 3.2-liter VR6 making 247 HP. The 180 HP TT could dispatch 60 mph in 8 seconds while the faster 225 HP variant did the job in 6.7 seconds. The hot 3.2 sprinted to 60 mph in about 5.1 seconds.

Descapotables Usados 10.000 Euro

Audi Tt Coupe 3.2 2005 1600 03

I owned a first-generation TT once. It was a terrible disaster, but for the brief moment things were good, I was happy. My dream TT is a convertible with the baseball glove interior. I’ll take it in blue or yellow, please!

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Worthy Sequels

In 2006, Audi released the second-generation TT. While the new car lost some of its famous design, it gained a mix of aluminum and steel panels resulting in a near perfect 50-50 weight distribution. Audi brought other improvements in the form of a greater selection of engines, including, for the first time, the ability to get a diesel-powered TT. Sadly, we didn’t get that one in America, but Audi did call it the world’s first diesel sports car.

Audi Tt Coupe 2007 1600 01

The smallest engine was a 1.8-liter turbo four making 158 HP. There were also three flavors of 2.0-liter turbo four, making 197 HP and 207 HP, respectively, with torque ranging from 207 lb-ft to 258 lb-ft. You could also find the 2.0-liter turbo four making 268 HP in the TTS. The king of powertrain configurations was the Audi TT RS, itself an important vehicle in Audi history. Launched in 2009, the TT RS is notable for being the first Audi RS model to be built outside of the Audi Sport GmbH factory in Neckarsulm. It also marked a new point in Audi’s history with five-cylinder engines, from Audi:

Sporty five-cylinder gasoline engines have a long legacy at Audi. The most famous is arguably the turbocharged 2.1-liter engine in the Audi Quattro. The first version, which was launched in 1980, offered an impressive 147 kW (200 bhp). And the Sport Quattro from 1984, directly inspired by motorsport, delivered a whopping 225 kW (306 bhp). For 25 years, turbochargers and quattro have been a dynamic formula for success.

Audi Tt Rs 2010 1600 2b

The Audi TT RS is the first classic sports car in the Audi RS family. Like the RS 4 and the RS 6, the Audi TT RS was developed by quattro GmbH as a pure, no-holds-barred driving machine. A new six-speed manual transmission conveys the engine’s tremendous power, and permits easy and precise operation thanks to a specially designed shift lever boasting particularly short shift travel. The transmission’s defining characteristics are a high efficiency ratio and a sportily narrow spread of the gear ratios.

At its height, the TT RS punched out 355 HP and 343 lb-ft of torque. That car was capable of laying down a legitimately fast 60 mph acceleration time of 4.3 seconds, which was faster than what the Audi R8 4.2 V8 could do.

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Audi Tts Final Edition Roadster Uk Version 2023 1600 04

Audi gave the TT one more sequel in 2014, and designers were given the task of taking the original 1998 design and freshening it up for the present day. Personally, I think the original is still the best, but the third-generation was an improvement over the second generation. Audi sort of messed up with the 2014 TT. It showed off one concept that reimagined the TT as a hot shooting brake and another as an Infiniti FX-esque off-road wagon. Sadly, neither saw the light of day.

Still, what we got was good. The third-generation TT was lighter and sleeker than its predecessor. A new TT with a 2.0-liter turbo four made 227 HP or 306 HP in TTS form. The 2.0-liter diesel was impressive in itself as it churned out 181 HP, one pony more than a base model TT 1.8t back in 1998! A 1.8-liter gas turbo four was also available, also making 180 HP.

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The top TT also got better. The Audi TT RS was still adorned with a spicy inline-five, only now it was making 394 HP and 354 lb-ft of torque, good for a blistering run past a state road speed limit in just 3.4 seconds. That’s fast by anyone’s definition! Car and Driver notes that the TT RS also weighed 3,270 pounds, 42 less than the old TT RS and about equal in weight to a first-generation TT. Yep, while the TT did grow through its generations, it didn’t bulk up on weight!

Sadly, sales data suggests that as the third-generation TT continued production and eventually grew long in the tooth, fewer buyers stepped up to the plate to buy them. Here in America, TT sales numbers haven’t been above 900 units a year since 2019. In Europe, the TT hadn’t seen five-digit sales numbers since 2019.

Goodbye, Sweet TT

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Back in February, Audi confirmed that the TT wasn’t going to make it to 2024. Slow sales spurred the end of the great TT. Unlike the death of Pontiac, which was a sad affair of rental cars built without celebration, Audi has allowed the TT to take one final bow.

Over in Europe, Audi sent out the TT with the Final Edition, which draped regular TTs in black accents, 20-inch wheels, an Alcantara-trimmed interior, a special Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel, and a few more bits. The final TT to ever be produced is a TTS painted metallic gray with darkened chrome accents. It also wears 20-inch bronze wheels, bronze badging, and a 2.0-liter four good for 315 HP. This car isn’t top spec, but it’s a good example of what will soon be the past.

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In this world of cars with muscular designs, crossovers, SUVs, and sharp edges all over the place, the Audi TT was sort of an anachronism. Even its final generation had gentle lines and graceful curves. The images here come from Audi as it followed the last TT down the line.

Sadly, sales data would suggest that the TT lost its magic and people have moved on. While the car didn’t sell many examples in its final days, it’s always upsetting to see a vehicle like this relegated to the pages of history. It seems like only yesterday, if you wanted a sporty roadster, you were able buy one from Mazda, General Motors, Audi, Nissan, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and so many more brands. Nowadays, not so much. So, hug your small coupes and roadsters tight, you never know when they too will become history.

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(Story images: Audi; top image graphic: Lothar Spurzem/Wikimedia Commons)

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Dr. Asteroid
Dr. Asteroid
5 months ago

Coupes are my single favorite style of car. From a Buick Reatta, Z34, TT, Miata, Scion iQ, 2 doors is where I stand.

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
5 months ago

I drove a first generation TT once,and it was fine. Fun car and all,but it did feel a bit numb and heavy in the steering.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
5 months ago

Fun fact. J absolutely hated the third gen TT. His words to me were “they’ve fucking ruined it”.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Because it’s true. First gen is great. Rest are forgettable.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
5 months ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

Second gen is best in my opinion. First generation is a design object first, a car second.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Agree completely, which is why it is superior. Product design mixed with transportation design, all the shapes and lines are so rational and clean.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
5 months ago

Eeeeh. Great homage from Mercedes. But I never found the TT to be all that. It looks like a Beetle that had botox or a run in with a clothes iron. I find it very bulbous-dated like the 1990s Taurus.

And it’s an Audi, arguably the bottom of the barrel of German engineering.

IMO Mercedes Benz’s worst roadsters beat Audi’s best in every way.

Brau Beaton
Brau Beaton
5 months ago

Obviously it’s time for an Audi ET

Carlos Ferreira
Carlos Ferreira
5 months ago
Reply to  Brau Beaton

ET limp home!

Carlos Ferreira
Carlos Ferreira
5 months ago

As a current Mk1 TT owner I feel there’s a lot of rose-tinted prose here. As a designer I’m a sucker for pretty things and saw the OG TT as an instant design icon, but was never very impressed by how they drove though, and saw it for what it was: one of the least-loved Golf GTI generations in a stylish and expensive Audi designer dress. the 1.8T 20V in mine has a narrow power band with rubber band delivery, the steering is wooden and the engine sounds completely unremarkable. It’s kind of just a pretty face. It handles OK, but it wasn’t until the later generations especially in RS guises, that TTs really impressed. However, when presented with the opportunity to buy a decent coupe in need of some love during the Pandemic for very little monies, I couldn’t resist.

Owning one, especially one way past the warranty period has expired, has broken whatever crush I had and then some. Early 00’s VAG products are stupidly over-complicated with fragile sensors setting off other sensors when they fail, to the point I had to buy a VAG-specific OBD2 scanner to even begin to diagnose issues. The 1.8Ts also rely heavily on engine vacuum for keeping things running, and Audi made a spider web network of vacuum lines out of the most brittle plastic I’ve seen in any car, and then buried deeply in the hot crevices of a turbocharged engine stuffed into a tight engine compartment. One hairline crack sets off a Christmas tree in the dash and it bucks, stalls, and just limps home if you’re lucky. Many interior and body trim parts that felt so hiqh quality when new fail or break in deeply disappointing ways. I’ve owned and own several cars perceived some as unreliable or difficult / expensive to maintain, (which have never been in my hands), but this is the one that makes me want to set it on fire frequently. Whenever I have the jerry can in hand though, I gaze at the Bauhaus inspired body lines, and smile at the cherubesque proportions and I tell myself to give it another chance. Plus I feel like I’m in a Tie Fighter when driving it

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
5 months ago

For several years bracketing 2000 I commuted past a blue-green gray one daily. Loved seeing it, and it became a bit of an aspiration—until I met an Audi fanatic. His stern advice was, ‘just buy a damn model: it’s way, way cheaper, and won’t hog your garage and break your heart’. I salute your honesty—and hope you can continue to stop short of deploying that jerrycan.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
5 months ago

It’s always the pretty ones that break your heart wallet.

Toecutter
Toecutter
5 months ago

An EV conversion solves most of its problems. Still have to deal with VW electrical systems though…

Óscar Morales Vivó
Óscar Morales Vivó
5 months ago

As the happy owner of a 2013 TT RS —it has the right amount of pedals and makes the right noises— I really appreciate the article.

Pisses me off that the TT RS roadster never made it to the US. That said the coupe proved surprisingly practical even taking me and my wife on a weeklong road trip around the California sierras without running out of space in the trunk.

Still don’t know why it has rear seats though —yes I know, regulations and s**t—. The car’s instruction manual has it in bold letters to never let anyone over 4′ 11″ seat back there. Not because they don’t have enough leg space —it runs out well before that— but because you’ll crush their head when you close the trunk.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
5 months ago

Yes, it is sad, what a great run it had and great design. Just have to comment that they could have gone with a better color for the last one like one of the Easter egg colors- I would pick blue

Roofless
Roofless
5 months ago

> the brand plans on replacing the TT with an EV that could be a crossover

https://comb.io/4vEidR.gif

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
5 months ago

It died for me when they took the manual out of it. Almost went for a TT RS once. My favorite iteration was the VR6 w/manual, though. Drove very much like the original VW R32, but it was a much more intimate cockpit. Still wouldn’t mind restoring one of those. Great little cars.

Last edited 5 months ago by Doctor Nine
Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
5 months ago

I remember sitting in a TT with the baseball glove leather interior at the 1998 Houston Auto Show. I thought the interior was great, but then there was an S8 right next to it that took all my attention.

Unlike many here, I don’t think the first generation TT has aged particularly well. The second generation is a bit better, but the third generation I think is a great looking car – sharp lines without the agro looks of the second gen or the cartoonish proportions of the first gen. A guy in my neighborhood has a TTRS and it is a sharp looking.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
5 months ago

I’m sorry, but are we just gonna skim over the fact that there was a 350cc motorcycle WITH A SUPERCHARGER?!? Not a turbo, a supercharger.

“A year later Wilhelm Herz became German champion on a 350cc supercharged NSU motorcycle.”

What kind of supercharger? Whipple? Centrifugal? A big ol’ Rootes blower with a birdcatcher scoop? On a 350cc engine?!?!

I feel like I’m taking crazy pills, and can you get one for, say, a Honda Grom?

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
5 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

That caught my eye too. I’m a lover of tossable small displacement bikes. It helps that I’m not the size/weight of a boomer dentist or accountant. A supercharger on a 350 though? Colour me intrigued.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
5 months ago

The first gen TT is one of my favorite designs. I always thought that if I could afford it, I’d have a coupe and a roadster because nothing beats a pair of beautiful TTs.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
5 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Yeah agreed 100%. That first generation had the looks. Sometimes change for the sake of change is a self defeating effort.
My favorite TT’s are the ones that age well and don’t sag with age.
Are we still talking about cars here?

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
5 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

Does it matter?

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
5 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Always. Toys are toys and all that.
I mean like Farrah vs Pam Anderson?
Some things are just built right the first time.

Last edited 5 months ago by Col Lingus
StillNotATony
StillNotATony
5 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

Good God, man. A pair of double T’s would blot out the sun.

Last edited 5 months ago by StillNotATony
Col Lingus
Col Lingus
5 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

They are like cars.
I’d rather drive a sweet PORSCHE over a SUV anytime.
YMMV.

Last edited 5 months ago by Col Lingus
Flashman
Flashman
5 months ago

The Audi TT is ubiquitous in architectural renderings, which is probably the highest praise a car can get.

changedmynameasIworkinadealershipandsomeofourbrandsarentgreat
changedmynameasIworkinadealershipandsomeofourbrandsarentgreat
5 months ago

I remember as a kid on holiday in Vienna in 1999 seeing a silver TT pass and it looked like an actual spaceship. Amazing looking car. I later got to drive a third gen one on an Audi Drive Day for work back to back with an S3 Cab and it feels so ‘sporty’ as in you sit so low and encased in the car compared to the A3 it shared a platform with. I’d previously dismissed it as just a prettier A3 but it genuinely feels like a sports car and felt way faster than the S3 even with less power in the spec it was in

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
5 months ago

I like the TT more than I should, and the first-gen TT coupe looks awesome, but like most VW’s, it’s NOT a wonderful car! Full of problems like every other German car of the time!

Spectre6000
Spectre6000
5 months ago

The TT will not go down as a legend. Not even close. First off, production stopped half a month ago, and this is the first anyone is hearing of it. If the Land Cruiser or 911 were to stop production, we’d all know years in advance. When the last VW Beetle rolled off the assembly line in 2003, it was An Thing. The last TT? Who knew? Who cared?

Second, it wasn’t even that good! It was a Golf with all the practicality stripped away. The GOLF is good (and if it ended production, we’d all know) because it’s a practical hatchback that can do just about everything, but it’s also sporty and fun. It’s not proper sports car fun, but you can definitely throw it around a little and it’ll bring a smile to your face. The TT is still a front wheel drive economy car, but with all the practicality removed it’s a styling exercise.

Third, it wasn’t even good at that! It was unreliable, and didn’t really even look all that great. What it really was was a convertible two seater niche filler for people who thought the Audi brand seemed fashionable. Almost every other convertible two seater on the market was better as a car and better looking, so it wasn’t even a styling exercise so much as a brand filling a perceived niche.

“Finally dead” is right. About time! If it’s your thing, good on you. I hope it brings you joy, and you can build a huge collection of all the best trims and options. All things considered though, that was a lot of words to spill for a car that really didn’t deserve to be much more than a footnote on the Golf’s Wikipedia page..

Last edited 5 months ago by Spectre6000
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
5 months ago

> we love the unloved

Even me? ;_;

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
5 months ago

Awwwwww <3

Spectre6000
Spectre6000
5 months ago

Absolutely a fair point. I love automotive esoterica, and it’s why I’m here. And there’s a butt for every seat. I once knew a guy that collected K-cars. Some people like feet. I’m sure there’s an Audi TT club somewhere in some urban area large enough to amass a few people to the cause. Still… A lot of words there for an unreliable appliance with lipstick. How about a similar article about a more worthy subject? Corolla (the most appliancey of automotive appliances)? Pontiac Sunfire (the cheapest car on the US market for a while there at least)? CR-V (or whichever other anonymous cute-ute it was that the automotive market as a whole seems to be morphing into)? All have something more to recommend them than “stylized niche filler”.

Tinctorium
Tinctorium
5 months ago
Reply to  Spectre6000

By your logic, the original Mustang should just be a footnote to the Falcon…

Spectre6000
Spectre6000
5 months ago
Reply to  Tinctorium

Except that it started the Mustang franchise…

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
5 months ago

The thing that made the TT so great is the same thing that made for other affordable sports coupes – from the Pagoda SL and original Mustang through the age of Celicas, Silvias, and Sciroccos:
Because when you base a sports coupe/roadster on the platform of a mainstram/economy sedan (in this case, the VW Golf) – you get relative affordability, reliability and fuel economy.
These are things you don’t necessarily get when manufacturers build sports cars on bespoke platforms.

We can only hope that the world manufacturers come to their senses and realize that they can accomplish similar results – and better all around performance, desirability and brand excitement – from their EV platforms with lighter, lower and sleeker bodywork than their crossover brethren.

Last edited 5 months ago by Urban Runabout
Carlos Ferreira
Carlos Ferreira
5 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Except the TT was grossly overpriced given that it was a Golf in fancy dress, but I get your point.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
5 months ago

First gen TT is one of the most attractive car designs ever created. I’m a huge fan, and it’s probably the best example of ‘modern’ bauhaus styling ever applied to a car.

2nd gen lost it, it tried to get all ANGRY and AGGRESSIVE and SQUINTY and MAD, the rear 3/4 still looked like a TT but the front just became generic and forgettable, imho. Same with the third gen. It just wasn’t as daring, and had more of the corporate Audi face slapped onto it, instead of something minimal and honest.

That said

  1. I always envied a first gen with quattro and the 225. My old roommate got one, and after driving it, I was just sort of over them. It drove like a mkiv golf because that’s what it was, but imho it sort of drove worse because the visibility was just so bad. If you look at where the person’s head is in ANY gen TT, it’s way back on that ‘circle’ profile which means the headliner/windshield gets shoved so far ahead of the driver, that they can no longer see traffic lights when stopped. It also makes driving weird… as you have so much car in front of you, and not much behind you. Think 60s Cheetah, as an exaggeration to understand what I’m getting at.
  2. The TTRS uses a 5 cylinder turbo, which… is just such an awesome engine! It’s based on the 20v I5 turbo from the 80s/90s, for overall architecture, and it has a great aftermarket support. This is the most Audi engine that is in Audi’s current lineup, an inline 5 cylinder with boost! It sounds more like a rally car because the DNA is there, and yet… despite spending millions and millions and millions developing this engine, YOU CAN ONLY GET THIS ENGINE IN THE TTRS OR RS3. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?! WHY IS THIS ENGINE NOT AVAILABLE IN EVERY MODEL!?!?! I WANT AN A4 AVANT WITH THIS ENGINE SO ITS AN RS2 YOU IDIOTS!

/rant

Cam.man67
Cam.man67
5 months ago

I’ll be honest, I actually didn’t know the TT was still in production. Which is a shame, because I remember being really excited (as a middle schooler) when the 1st-gen TT came out. All my friends wanted TTs. They were cool, and for a brief period they looked like nothing on the road. A guy I graduated with had a TTS after college but sold it a few years later after it developed all the typical Audi litany of problems. Honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I saw a TT aside from a forlorn 2nd-gen that’s been sitting at the local Audi dealer for several years.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
5 months ago
Reply to  Cam.man67

Audi litany of problems? It was a MkIV Golf in a fancy wrapper. ???

Cam.man67
Cam.man67
5 months ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

Exactly my point. I had a MkIV as did my sister and they were both unreliable turds. Far and away the worst car I’ve ever had, and less dependable than the 1968 Dodge Dart I daily’ed after I parted ways with the Golf. I want to like VW products, but my experience with the Golf soured me from owning another VW product. Unless it’s air-cooled which I’m entirely open to.

Last edited 5 months ago by Cam.man67
ADDvanced
ADDvanced
5 months ago
Reply to  Cam.man67

What engine did you have? I’ve owned 1.8Ts and 2.0s and both were fine, other than maybe an occasional plastic coolant fitting failing.

Cam.man67
Cam.man67
5 months ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

Both hers and mine were 2.0s. Hers had numerous (and repeated) issues with sensors failing, I think the MAP she had replaced twice in 1 year. Mine I sold at 64000 miles, but shortly prior the water pump exploded and somehow managed to destroy my radiator in the process. Also had a cracked oil pan that I replaced. We both had issues with the interior as well. Her Jetta’s interior plastics in 5 years became sticky and nasty. Mine had a water leak we never could track down, but the car perpetually smelled.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
5 months ago
Reply to  Cam.man67

lol, weird. Sounds like you got a friday car.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
5 months ago
Reply to  Cam.man67

Right. I had been under the impression these were dead a long time ago.

Toecutter
Toecutter
5 months ago

My dad once owned a 1st gen, a 2001 Quattro Coupe with the 225 horsepower engine, purchased used. It was red.

0-60 mph was about 6 seconds, and he got it over 140 mph before tuning it. It was stable at that speed, largely thanks to the rear spoiler. Exceeding 30 mpg on the highway was easy to do. It was a bit heavy for my tastes, but damn did it look good. Such a timeless design whose aesthetics hold up well 20 years later, and will hold up for 20+ more. The 2nd gen and later looked terrible, IMO. I always likened it to being a modern take on a VW Karmann Ghia.

It would make for a good EV conversion, IMO. Mostly because it’s AWD and could best make use of the electric motor’s torque at launch.

Last edited 5 months ago by Toecutter
MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
5 months ago

I know many people love these things, but I’ve never been a fan. That being said, I’m not happy that another fun, small, athletic car is being replaced by a crossover.

CivoLee
CivoLee
5 months ago

I want to make it ILLEGAL for any manufacturer to have more than two crossovers in their entire lineup.

Fuck the Environmental “Protection” Agency and its loopholes that give manufacturers an out on flooding their lineups with vehicles that are anything but environmentally friendly. We should have known an environmental agency created by a Republican administration wouldn’t be doing anything but give enough lip service to shut up the treehuggers.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
5 months ago

And in case anyone’s wondering, “tourist trophy” itself originally referred to a specific racing class within an event – road-going motorcycles available on the commercial market, which were then called “touring motorcycles” (as opposed to pure race bikes).

The 2-seater-ness of the TT always made me esp. happy.

Zelda Bumperthumper
Zelda Bumperthumper
5 months ago

I had the same thought upon seeing the TT for the first time that I did when the New Beetle and PT Cruiser hit the market: How will they ever be able to offer a second generation? The design of each is so absolutely critical to their appeal that changing it is almost guaranteed to diminish it. VW somehow later give us a Beetle that was a lot more attractive, but the later TTs just never felt as special.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
5 months ago

I chalk it up to the TT being a from-scratch thing, whereas the New Beetle was inspired by something we already knew, and the next-gen version did a even better job at mimicking it.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
5 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

The second version of the New Beetle looked better because it did a worse job of mimicking the original. It’s far flatter and wider than the first, and looks more sporty and less feminine. Most everyone likes the second New Beetle better, but you’re the first person I’ve ever known to say the second generation of New Beetle is the more faithful recreation of the original Beetle.

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