Audi confirmed today that it will launch the new 2015 Audi TT sports car in 2014. The announcement came as Audi said it will spend €22 million (about $30 million) between now and 2018 to expand its dealer network and develop new products.
As announced earlier this month, a big portion of that investment will go toward expanding the Audi lineup from 49 to 60 models by 2020. Audi also plans to upgrade its Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm plants in Germany, and to develop more energy-efficient engines and powertrains. Audi previously hoped to grow its annual sales to 1.5 million cars by 2015. Having met that goal this year, Audi now says it has revised its plan and hopes to soon sell two million cars globally each year.
"In the future, we will be investing increasingly in new products," Audi board member Axel Strotbek said in a statement. "Seventy percent [of the €22 million] is intended for the modernization and expansion of the model range and for our portfolio of technologies."
The automaker confirmed the third-generation Audi TT coupe will go on sale in 2014. Although Audi offered no more details on the car, it is expected to be built upon the MQB flexible chassis architecture already in use for models like the Volkswagen Golf and GTI, and Audi A3. After the coupe debuts in the middle of 2014, an Audi TT convertible is likely to follow in the fall.
Our spy photos show that the 2015 Audi TT will probably be longer and wider than previous versions, but with shorter overhangs for a sportier stance. Expect a longer hood, flatter roof, and rounded tail to increase the visual similarities to the Audi R8 supercar. We reported in 2012 that switching to the lighter, more cost-effective MQB chassis will allow the 2015 Audi TT to shed as much as 132 pounds compared to today's version. Both front- and all-wheel-drive versions will be offered.
Earlier reports indicated that the 2015 Audi TT might offer an assortment of turbocharged engines: a 180-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder, a 220/280-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a 180-hp 2.0-liter turbodiesel, and a 2.5-liter inline-five with up to 380 hp. That last engine is slated for the TT RS, which Audi reportedly will make considerably more powerful and expensive than before. In fact, with those performance figures, the 2015 Audi TT RS could square off against one of the car's corporate cousins, the Porsche 911.
Expect more details on the 2015 Audi TT to emerge over the coming months as we approach the car's official debut in 2014.