The Audi TT and R8 May Be Saved by Electrification
Some in the company want to kill off the sports cars as Audi makes its EV push.
Audi is shifting its resources to electric cars, mobility, and technology, which may leave no room for the TT in its future lineup. A report from Autocar revealed Audi was re-evaluating the future of the TT, but now, Audi's tech development boss says he's fighting to keep the TT and turn it into an electrified car.
Audi board member for technical development Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler says there have been "emotional discussions" about the TT among the company's management. "Some people say we should stop it but I say that it's part of our DNA," he told Auto Express. "We're fighting for it. We want it. It's our DNA and that's what we're fighting for. I'm going to convince my colleagues on how it can be electrified."
Rothenpieler said the Audi R8 could also be saved through electrification. "The same applies to R8 as to TT," Rothenpieler said. "We're involved in discussing this, and these models and RS will need a change into e-mobility."
Audi CEO Bram Schot is maintaining his poker face, however. "Audi will always have icon cars," he told Auto Express. "We are an emotional brand. The e-tron GT will be a new icon. But with the TT and R8, we're also looking at volumes because profitability is something we need to focus on." Recently, he told Autocar, "I've got some things cooking which could replace TT, though not necessarily directly."
Audi will introduce a line of e-tron electric vehicles, including midsize and small crossovers, a coupe-like hatch, the China-only Q2 L, and a four-passenger sedan previewed by the GT concept. Audi promises to introduce 12 pure electric vehicles by 2025. Given that the TT has always had a relationship with the Volkswagen Golf, and the ID hatch is a kind of spiritual electric successor to the Golf, there would be some poetry in a future TT sharing the MEB platform of the ID line, which will also include a crossover, sedan, and a Microbus-style van. And as we've seen with the recent ID Buggy concept's move toward production, the economies of scale of VW's flexible skateboard platform can give niche cars a better shot at reaching consumers. Whether that's what Audi's Rothenpieler has in mind remains to be seen, though.