And it needs to make them soon.
It's no secret the future of the Audi TT and Audi R8 remains in doubt, but a final decision regarding their status has yet to be made. However, it appears that'll be happening very soon. Audi's new CEO, Markus Duesmann, is not only navigating the luxury brand through the coronavirus pandemic but is also implementing a major new strategy called Project Artemis whose ultimate goal is to develop new technologies and get them to market faster and better than Tesla. Duesmann recently admitted his firm is, at least, two years behind Tesla in technology.
And because of the pandemic and the tech plan, major budget cuts are required elsewhere. Niche models like the TT and R8 are facing greater scrutiny than before, according to Autocar.
An anonymous source told the publication that "Cars like the TT and R8 were reviewed as part of a general cost-cutting process in the past. However, they have now come under increased focus."
Previous rumors claimed the TT was slated to go all-electric but, again, Audi is re-examining everything in order to ensure there's a business case. What sounds like a good idea on paper doesn't necessarily translate to making money. Audi's new approach to budgets is so extensive, in fact, that it's even reviewing its combustion engine platform strategy. The MLB platform, which underpins everything from the A4 to the A8 and even the Q5, Q7, and Q8, could be radically altered.
One idea reportedly being considered is for Audi and fellow VW Group brand Porsche to form an even closer working relationship by "more systemically" pairing MLB with the MSB platform, as the latter underpins the Porsche Panamera and Bentley Continental GT. Before Duesmann's appointment, Audi originally planned to launch around 30 electric vehicles by 2025, of which 20 would be fully electric and the remaining ones would be plug-in hybrids.
For now, it seems that's still the plan but Duesmann is on the hunt for additional ways to save money that can instead be used for EV development. Turning the TT into an EV may not be the best use of funds right now. Can this also be said for the R8? That's just one more thing Audi needs to decide, and soon.