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Expanded TT range on Audi radar

Iconic growth: Audi could morph the Allroad concept from this year's Detroit show (left) into a new TT derivative.

Audi chief hints at TT Shooting Brake and other body styles, asks “why not more?”

10 Mar 2014


AUDI could add body styles and variants to its iconic TT range beyond the current coupe and convertible, according to the company’s head of technical development.

The top candidate in this potential TT family or sub-brand is believed to be a three-door hatch similar to the Allroad Shooting Brake concept revealed at the Detroit motor show last January.

Speaking with Australian media at the Geneva motor show last week, Ulrich Hackenberg – who also serves on the Audi AG board – said the company was considering ways to capitalise on the TT’s strong “brand” and iconic status, and would have news in “a little bit”.

Audi premiered the third-generation TT coupe at the Swiss expo, with an evolutionary exterior treatment that harks back to the original model, and a retro yet modern cabin that emphasises simple controls.

“I think the Allroad concept from Detroit has (had) very good feedback,” said Dr Hackenberg. “We are looking intensively, what does such a car mean for TT?“We have an RS, we have a TT-S (both high-performance versions of the coupe), we have the roadster and normal coupe, so why not more?“TT is our icon, it’s a car with its own design language. I can imagine more, so wait a little bit, the ideas are still going around to make more.”

The Detroit concept combined a squat three-door crossover body, powerful and efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain and the latest electric E-tron Quattro four-wheel grip.

While an official program is still to be confirmed, Audi could potentially house a raft of body styles under the TT moniker, giving it a style-oriented sub-brand of sorts that contrasts with its regular mainstream models.

As the new TT is based on the same front- or AWD architecture as the Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia, spinning off new derivatives would be a matter of developing a new ‘top hat’.

This ubiquitous architecture, called MQB, brings with it big weight savings over the old modular platform, and thereby greater performance and improved fuel economy.

Meantime, Dr Hackenberg said Audi was also still pondering whether to produce a sexy grand tourer in the mould of the Sport Quattro concept from last September’s Frankfurt motor show.

Built as a “trailer” for the next-generation longitudinal MLB platform – the one that houses models further up the VW group food chain than the MQB – the Sport Quattro is pitched as a luxurious GT car rather than a manic supercar like Audi’s own R8 or the Huracan from its Lamborghini brand.

While just a test car, Dr Hackenberg hinted at more by saying the concept “really makes sense” as a production model.

Dr Hackenberg has said before he likes to use flagship models to premiere new technologies, and to act as brand halos. Resurrecting the R8 e-tron (see separate story below) attests to this.

Watch this space...

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