Another motor show, another niche for Audi to try and fill. Paris's effort was the TT Sportback concept, which is either a kind of swoopy compact saloon or a TT with two extra doors depending on how you look at it.
Audi is committed to expanding its range from 50 to 60 models by 2020. The TT is the Audi with the most brand kudos, and the strongest badge, so to it’s the obvious candidate for an expanded line-up, especially when at least two of the three concepts would offer something genuinely new on the market place, even if it may appear tenuous.
“We have 50 cars in our range now and will go to 60 by 2020," Audi tech boss Ulrich Hackenberg said in Paris. "To do that, we will need to create segments. We need additional cars and with the TT there is already a clear market and customers for it. We have a huge advantage with the MQB platform as the underpinnings are already there and we can put a new ‘hat’ on.”
The third-gen TT would seem a more plausible model on which to build an expanding line-up on. The second-gen TT always felt like a watered down version of the original concept, but colleagues report the new model is fabulous to drive, and to my eyes it’s a looker again, too. Our web stats indicate our readers can’t get enough of the TT, too.
So now with three proposed new TT bodystyles, Audi must decide which – if not all – to put into production.
Said Hackenberg: “We are looking at ‘inter segment clusters’, white space between segments where we can put new models into. The TT design is well known and liked, and it is ideal for putting in these inter segment clusters. The TT helps you stand out with any body. We’ve done three concepts now and must see the most sensible, which can get the most volume. There will be a decision in months, and a car can take two years to make production after that.”
Whatever it decides, with that TT badge, those looks and strong dynamic underpinnings, the TT success story, and Audi’s expansion into ever more niches and new market segments, will inevitably continue.