At next month’s Geneva Motor Show Audi will pull the wraps from a completely new iteration of the compact sports car that tore up the rulebook and changed the course of design in its class at its 1998 launch. For the third generation of the iconic TT, the designers have reinterpreted a host of ideas from that first, game-changing template.
The front end of the new Audi TT has dominant horizontals. The Singleframe grille is broad and flat. Two contours form a V-pattern over the bonnet. The position of the four rings is also new – they now sit centrally on the hood, echoing the R8.
Struts divide up the large air inlets. The headlights repeat this motif – they are structured with divider struts acting as reflectors for the daytime running light. Audi can supply the headlights as an option with LED technology or its pioneering Matrix LED technology, where controllable individual light-emitting diodes generate the main beam.
Many details of the new Coupé’s profile are reminiscent of the first generation’s classic design. The sill contour forms a powerful light edge and the wide wheel arches constitute distinct geometrical entities. At the front, the wheel arch intersects the bonnet join, which continues over the door as the tornado line and extends all the way to the rear. The flat greenhouse looks like an entity in its own right. The shape of the C-pillar, with a slight kink, gives the TT a powerful, athletic look and enhances the impression of tension.
At the rear, too, horizontal lines reinforce the wide and focused impression. The struts in the rear lights pick up on the headlights’ motif. They remain permanently on – another Audi innovation. The third brake light with a flat strip shape links the two units on either side. All engine versions have two large, round exhaust tailpipes in the diffuser. Like all Audi S models, the TTS features four tailpipes.
Inside, too, the styling is so light it almost seems to float, evoking the clean sports car character of the new Audi TT. The centre console and door trims have flowing, matching shapes. Seen from above, the dashboard resembles the wing of an aircraft. The round air vents, a classic TT feature, have a turbine-like look and incorporate the air conditioning controls. This solution – and the elimination of the central MMI monitor, now replaced by the Audi virtual cockpit – paves the way for the dashboard’s remarkably slim architecture.
Sharper lines and a more dramatic interplay between surfaces will be particularly notable features of the third generation of the Audi TT, but they only scratch the surface of a pedigree sports car that has been systematically refined in every department, both inside and out.