Future of the Audi TT hinges on electrification

Audi says the company "is fighting for" the TT, but can't confirm plans for a successor.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
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Audi TT 20th Anniversary Edition

Electrification is a pillar of the future of Audi . The company recently announced it will debut 30 electrified vehicles -- plug-in hybrids and full EVs -- by 2025. Audi has also said it plans to offer electrification on every one of its model lines.

But where does that leave the company's sports cars -- specifically, the slow-selling TT?

"It's part of our DNA," Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, member of the board of management for technical development at Audi AG, said to members of the media at an event in Ingolstadt, Germany, on Thursday. "We are fighting for it."

The company has yet to confirm plans for a fourth-gen TT, but Audi says its stronger focus on electrification will dictate the future of this model.

Audi TT 20th Anniversary Edition sports slick OLED taillights

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"We want it," Rothenpieler said. But he notes the biggest hurdle is convincing the company "in terms of how it can be electrified. ... We'll need a change toward e-mobility."

"We're also looking at volumes," notes Bram Schot, Audi's chairman of the board of management. After all, the TT is one of the company's slowest-selling models. In the US alone, Audi moved just 1,289 examples of the TT in 2018 -- roughly 1,000 fewer than in 2017.

Audi is still planning a number of sporty models in its electrification plans. The upcoming E-Tron GT, which will go intro production in 2020, is "the first step in this direction," Rothenpieler said. "We're going to see what we'll need in terms of internal combustion engines and what we can transform into e-mobility."

"Audi will always have icon cars," Schot added on the topic of the E-Tron GT. "It will be one."

2019 Audi TT doesn't look much different than before

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