TT Is Toast: Audi's Smallest Model Has a Date With Death As Automaker Sheds 'Old Baggage'

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
tt is toast audis smallest model has a date with death as automaker sheds 8216 old

It’s the end of an era. Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz announced the death of the SLC (formerly SLK) roadster, and today Audi announced it will do the same to its own two-seat roadster and four-place coupe.

The TT first appeared in late 1998, bringing youthful excitement and distinctive design to the brand’s sedan-heavy lineup. It also served as an excellent rival to the SLK, which bowed a couple of years earlier. Thanks to dwindling sales and Audi’s push for electrification, the recently refreshed TT is now doomed.

It’s not the only gas-powered model that could disappear from the lineup, either.

At the automaker’s annual shareholders meeting in Germany Thursday, top brass spoke of the need to ditch niche models while bolstering electric offerings. Audi hopes to have 20 all-electric models on the market by 2025. Indeed, the TT’s replacement, not due for a few years, will be such a creature.

In the medium term we want to have the strongest range of electric models among premium competitors,” said CEO Bram Schot, as reported by Automotive News. Schot said that, given the brand’s push for sustainability, keeping the TT around makes no economic sense. Its replacement will be an “emotive” model with a similar price, he added.

“We’re shedding old baggage,” said Chief Financial Officer Alexander Seitz, per Bloomberg. The CFO said that ever more stringent emissions regulations means that “combustion cars are getting more expensive in the medium-term, and electric cars are getting cheaper.”

Since the beginning of the year, Audi’s global deliveries have fallen nearly 6 percent. Paring back slow-selling models and rethinking others will be the go-to plan going forward.

“There will be lots of things that we won’t do any more in the future, or things that we do less,” said Schot. “We focus maximum resources on our key projects.”

He added that the brand’s flagship sedan, the redesigned-for-2019 A8, might be in its last generation as an internal combustion vehicle.

“The next generation of the Audi A8 might well be all-electric. Nothing has been decided yet, but I can well imagine it,” he said, hinting that the sedan’s replacement might be a “completely new concept.”

Also up for reconsideration is the brand’s high-end R8 sports car. Schot questioned whether the R8 fits into the brand’s current strategy. Refreshed for 2020 (after skipping the 2019 model year), the R8 is Audi’s halo car, offering two flavors of V10 engine for an eye-watering price.

Audi’s aiming for higher delivery volume this year and boosted profit margins in 2020, while at the same time making costly investments in electrification. Seitz claims the push for lower-margin EVs is not a fool’s game.

“CO2 credits are hard cash in today’s world,” he said. “As finance chief, I am already looking forward to every electric car sold, even if their profitability cannot yet achieve that of conventional vehicles.”

In both 2000 and 2001, Audi sold over 12,000 TTs in the United States, but the model hasn’t crested the 5,000 mark since 2004. Last year’s TT tally, including the five-cylinder RS variant, was just 1,289 units.

[Images: Audi]

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3 of 13 comments
  • Stingray65 Stingray65 on May 23, 2019

    Lets cancel our low volume ICE vehicles that perhaps manage to breakeven, and replace them with lower volume EVs that lose money and only sell due to subsidies that Right wing governments are threatening to end. Good strategy.

    • Mopar4wd Mopar4wd on May 24, 2019

      To be fair it's a better decision then killing your volume profit models to experiment with future markets. A shame because the TT is the only audi I currently like but I wouldn't buy a new one so my opinion really doesn't matter.

  • SilverCoupe SilverCoupe on May 24, 2019

    I owned a Scirocco in the late 70's, and they stopped making it shortly thereafter. I owned a Chrysler Laser Turbo in the 80's, and they stopped making it shortly thereafter. I Owned a Supra Turbo in the 90's, and the stopped making it shortly thereafter. I owned a TT in the 00's - and it took them quite a while to stop making that! But who knows what the future will bring; heck, the Supra came back!

  • TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Does this not sound and feel like the dawn of ICE automobiles in the early 20th century, but at double or triple speed speed!!There were a bunch of independent car markers by the late 1910’s. By the mid 20’s, we were dropping down to 10 or 15 producers as Henry was slashing the price of the Model T. The Great Depression hit, and we are down to the big three and several independents. For EVs, Tesla bolted out of the gate, the small three are in a mad dash to keep up. Europe was caught flat footed due to the VW scandal. Lucid, Lordstown, & Rivian are scrambling to up production to generate cash. Now the EV leader has taken a page from the Model T and is slashing prices putting the rest of the EV market in a tail spin. Deja vu……
  • Michael Eck With those mods, I wonder if it's tuned...
  • Mike-NB2 I'm not a Jeep guy, but I really, really like the 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept.
  • William I'm a big fan of 70s Lincolns. I really liked the 1980s Mark Vl. I thought it was very classy, and I never thought of it as a restyled Town Car. I did own a 1990 LSC, it was black over black leather interior. I loved the LSC as soon as they were introduced. I loved the sound of the duel exhaust, I thought it fit the car perfectly. I never had any problems with it. The 5.0 is a great engine, and never had any issues with the air suspension system. It had the the analog dash and I made good use of the message center. I highly recommend this Mark. The black paint and interior fit the car and me perfectly.