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Audi TT Range Expansion Likely to Begin With Crossover

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/14/2014 Paul Horrell
Audi TT Offroad Concept In Beijing Front Side View© Provided by MotorTrend Audi TT Offroad Concept In Beijing Front Side View

At the recent Paris Motor Show, Audi introduced both the TT Roadster production car and four-door TT Sportback concept. Speaking to Motor Trend a few minutes later, the brand's board member for R&D, Ulrich Hackenberg, confirmed that the TT line would increase -- but that a Sportback probably isn't going to be the first.

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At the Beijing show in April, Audi showed another four-door TT concept, a crossover called the TT Offroad Concept, and as we previously reported, that's the likely first addition.

If manufactured, these TT spinoffs would be extra models for Audi. "We have 50 models at Audi now. We will have 60 by 2020. So there will be new cars in between the regular market segments. We are on our way to checking which are the right ones to expand our range, by using TT concepts. We're using the TT design language because it's accepted and iconic."

The Sportback doesn't just take exterior design genes from TT. Further, it has the TT's dash and seats, and, Hackenberg said, "It's made with the MQB and can go to five cylinders." MQB is the VW Group's platform and factory matrix for transverse-engined cars, and it's the culmination of many years of work for Hackenberg.

The TT Sportback would also use a mostly aluminum body, like the TT. He explained that the MQB cars are built using new a body panel flange shape that isn't just suitable for steel, but can also, using gluing and riveting, join steel and aluminum. "So the plant can do it. I have always done lots of concepts, and most are on the road now."

Asked whether the Offroad or Sportback is most likely for production, he said, "The TT language is good for cars between segments. We're seeing which would get the volume. I see the best chance as the SUV, that's what the marketing people tell me would do best. It did well in clinics. But if you ask me from the design side, this one [the TT Sportback] is most harmonious and emotional, my favorite. It's useful for a young family but it's still a sports car. People who I know say, 'I'd buy it.'"

He said they'll choose between the two within a few months, and could then have the winner in showrooms in about two years.

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