The oddity in this particular choice of underpinnings is the “potential TT family” that the new concept belongs to, so announced by Audi Board Member for Technical Development, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg.
“With the TT, Audi created one of the automotive design icons of the last 20 years,”
Where BMW chooses its somewhat controversially named 4 Series line to base its new four-door coupe upon, Audi is apparently creating (or at least fleshing out) a completely new line of sporty models based on its sporty TT Coupe and Roadster. It would be like BMW launching a four-door coupe on the back of its Z4, or Mercedes-Benz choosing the SLK to carry its new CLA. The CLA is instead based on Mercedes’ somewhat proletarian B-Class architecture, a front-wheel drive model,
The very TT being displayed at this week’s Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris rolls on Volkswagen’s new MQB platform that also underpins the new 2015 Golf and many other VW group products, which begs the question: Why not base Audi’s next four-door coupe on the Audi A3 or A4, both of which also use MQB? What you may not know is that Audi has had an A5 Sportback in Europe since 2009, the A5 (also available in Coupe and Cabriolet body styles) of which runs on the same MQB
If the TT Sportback Concept came to market the way it is, it would be the quickest TT iteration ever offered. The upcoming 2015 TTS Coupe and Roadster (which will likely be 2016 models when they arrive here and are the top trim levels announced
If the TT Sportback makes production it will likely be available with a clean turbo-diesel like its two-door siblings, but who’s to say whether Audi will offer these models’ base front-wheel drivetrain and 227 horsepower four. The 306 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-litre would certainly be made available if not standard,
Either way it would go like a rocket. It’s lighter than the A5 Sportback and its competitors too, thanks to extensive lightweight aluminum and composite construction and a fairly small footprint. The new TT Sportback measures just 4.47 metres (14.7 feet) long, 1.89 metres (6.2 feet) wide, and 1.38 metres (4.5 feet) tall, with a wheelbase of 2.63 metres (8.6 feet). That makes it 29 centimetres (11.4 inches) longer than the new 2015 TT Coupe, plus 6 centimetres (2.4 in inches) wider, while riding on a 12-centimetre (4.7-inch) longer wheelbase, although its height is actually 3 centimetres (1.2 inches) lower than the two-door hardtop, which would likely change in production trim. This makes it quite a bit shorter than Mercedes’ CLA, although significantly wider for what should
On that note, if you’re wondering whether the TT Sportback Concept is just whimsy or something Audi is seriously considering, just look at the detail. Its front end looks much like the TT Coupe and Roadster that preceded it, while its mirrors are fully functional production units, as are the only slightly oversized wheels
Likewise the interior is pure TT, except for the rear seats that are much more accommodating than the 2+2 setup in the Coupe. That model and this new prototype incorporate Audi’s new digital primary gauge package that the brand calls a “virtual cockpit.” The completely reconfigurable setup lets the driver select a preferred view of the TT’s various functions just by pressing a steering wheel-mounted button. And of course the new TT Sportback will get the same high-quality, well-designed detailing as its Coupe and Roadster brethren if produced, the former achieving Interior Innovation of the Year honours at the recent Automotive Interiors Expo.
If you happen to be a performance sedan fan with reasonable means, this is a great time to be alive. Now let’s see if this hot little number makes it to production, and then into a showroom near you.
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