These are the first pictures of the all-new Audi TT in testing. While this test car may look like today’s second-generation TT at first glance, its identity as chassis mule for third-generation car is given away by its longer wheelbase and wider tracks, as well as its completely covered interior.

The new TT will be launched in 2014. The new model will be “more driver orientated” than the current car, Audi officials say, with the goal of matching the Porsche Boxster.

Audi intends to achieve that target through a combination of new underpinnings for the TT and a programme aimed at reducing its weight below the already competitive 1240kg of today’s base model. The new TT will continue to offer the choice of both 2+2 coupé and two-seat roadster body styles. The roadster will have a cloth roof and arrive in 2015.

The basis for the new Audi is the new MQB transverse architecture developed in partnership with parent company Volkswagen. The new platform is set to receive its first public airing at the Geneva motor show next month underneath the third-generation A3 — a car with which the new TT will also share selected driveline combinations. As with the current model, both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive will be offered.

Audi has conceived the new TT around an inner structure that uses a greater percentage of aluminium in the bulkheads and floorpan. It also continues to boast a predominantly aluminium bodyshell.

In line with every TT since it was added to the Audi line-up in 1998, the new car will receive a heavy dose of style. Insiders who have seen the car’s final design describe it as being “more technical looking”. It retains the same basic dimensions as today’s TT (4185mm long, 1840mm wide and 1350mm tall).

Among the design elements we can expect will be Audi’s latest six-corner single-frame grille, slimmer and more angular headlamps with the latest in LED technology and a clamshell bonnet featuring greater contouring. There will also be prominent wheel arch flares, a more defined shoulder line, deeper sculpturing within the doors, a plunging, liftback-style tailgate and a rounded rear end that features an automatically deploying spoiler element.

When the third-generation TT goes on sale in 2014, the planned engine line-up will feature a 1.8 and two different 2.0-litre versions of the Volkswagen Group’s four-cylinder EA888 petrol engine. They are likely to have a new cylinder shutdown mechanism as part of a wide range of fuel-saving measures on the new TT.

They will be joined by a reworked version of Audi’s turbocharged 2.5-litre straight five in a follow-up to the TT RS, due in 2015. Also planned is a diesel TT running a slightly more powerful version of the current 2.0-litre unit, with a new common-rail injection system for greater efficiency.

The base 1.8, less powerful 2.0-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel models will come with standard front-wheel drive. The more powerful 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre petrol engines will be offered exclusively with four-wheel drive.