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Geneva show: Audi teases TT

TT tease: Audi official sketches show that the third-generation TT that premieres next month in Geneva will get a sharper frontal design.

Sketches indicate Audi will play it safe with evolutionary new-gen TT coupe styling

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Audi logo20 Feb 2014

AUDI has previewed the evolutionary design of its forthcoming third-generation TT coupe with a pair of design sketches, two weeks out from its world debut at the Geneva motor show.

Like its predecessor, the new version – expected in Australian showrooms in the first quarter of 2015 – appears to borrow heavily from the classic 1998 original, with Audi obviously keen not to mess with a good thing. Traditional elements such as flared wheel-arches, a curved roof-line, prominent horizontal feature line and hatchback tailgate all carry over.

However, this new one appears to have sharper detailing on the LED headlights, tail-lights and front/rear diffusers. Audi has also added a kink to the design of the C-pillar.

The sketches also show a sharpened hexagonal grille that no longer houses the four-ring badge. Instead, Audi has moved its emblem to the lip of the clamshell bonnet – a hallmark since the first-generation car.

Under the skin, the TT will sit on a version of the Volkswagen Group’s modular MQB front- and all-wheel-drive platform, familiar from models such as the Audi A3 and VW Golf.

The use of this much lighter new platform, as well as a big percentage of aluminium and super high-strength steel in the body, should see the new TT undercut the already light 1260kg kerb-weight of the current car.

The basic suspension layout will likely remain as before – MacPherson struts at the front and multi-link at the rear – but a new electro-mechanical steering system will feature, bringing fuel savings.

Engines will again be mounted at the front transversely. Expect to see the A3’s 132kW/250Nm 1.8-litre turbo-four in the base car, as well as the familiar 162kW/350Nm VW/Audi EA888 2.0-litre turbo unit in hotter versions.

Autocar reports that the TT S will form part of the launch range, and will get the same 221kW/380Nm 2.0-litre turbo engine as the S3 hatchback, matched to a quattro AWD system.

The hardcore TT RS will appear in 2015, reportedly sporting a reworked circa-270kW version of the current car’s 2.5-litre five-pot turbo. This figure exceeds even the current-generation, limited-run 265kW TT RS Plus.

Powertrains will be mounted to either a six-speed manual gearbox or six- or seven-speed dual-clutch automatics (higher output versions will get fewer ratios).

The teaser sketches come six weeks after Audi revealed a life-size replica of the TT’s cabin at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The interior is at once simple, retro and futuristic.

Audi has shifted the digital display from the central fascia to the instruments behind the steering wheel. The 12.3-inch TFT monitor, flanked by regular gauges for speed and revs, displays 3D navigation and multimedia/radio.

Moving the screen free up space in the main fascia, allowing Audi to keep things sparse and simple. A trio of rounded air vents inspired by jet turbines and sporting in-built temperature controls dominate the space, with a row of switches to adjust driving modes sitting below.

The new-generation TT Coupe will appear in Geneva next month. The soft-top version is expected later this year, most likely at the Paris motor show in September. The RS version will premiere in 2015.

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GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.