A spotted TT roadster development car shows the minor aesthetic adjustments to be expected on the car's exterior which, according to the location of the camouflage, will be focused on its bumpers and lights.
The car, pictured driving in deep Arctic snow, wears slimmer headlights that look like miniature versions of the ones fitted to the R8. The units also feature new day running lights, which swaps the L-shaped strips for a longer bar.
Audi’s MQB-based two-door currently comes with a 1.8-litre TFSI engine at the bottom of its range, with a 2.0-litre TFSI above that. It also gets a 2.0-litre TDI option. Sales for the diesel almost halved in 2017, with it representing just 16% of the car's overall sales in 2017, which amounted to 7767 units.
The Volkswagen Group has recently introduced a new 1.5-litre Evo engine to its ranks, but that unit’s 148bhp means it would have to sit beneath the current entry-point, making it an unlikely addition. There's a chance the diesel could be dropped due to its slowing demand, but more likely it will be retained in the facelift due to stronger sales in other markets. However, if trends continue, it suggests the TT's successor could eventually drop a diesel option. As such, no major changes are expected for the 2019 model’s powertrain line-up.
For the facelift, Audi is likely to focus on improving the efficiency and outputs of the current range on powertrains. Even the range-topping TT RS, which uses a turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, is only likely to get mild changes. Although that should include a boost to the current car’s 395bhp – potentially pushing it over the 400bhp mark for the first time.
The latest Audi TT acted as a halo car for the brand’s Virtual Cockpit when it was introduced. However, the facelifted car is expected to make a smaller stride forward with its system. The cabin’s design is therefore not predicted to change too much.
Although it’s not due on roads until 2019, the recent sighting of a near-finished-looking development car suggests Audi could reveal the facelifted TT later this year. The current model was launched in 2014 at the Geneva motor show, suggesting this year’s show could host the facelift’s arrival.