Does this move signal the death of sports cars?
Sports cars have become a dying segment, which is why many automakers have focused on building more profitable SUVs. Audi continues to carry on building two sports cars, the TT and R8, though the R8 may die off after the current generation. In a surprise bit of news, the Audi TT may die off as well within the next two years, at least in its current form. According to Auto Express, the next-generation TT will be completely overhauled with a new, more practical four-door coupe body style.
Back in 2014 at the Paris Motor Show, Audi showed off a concept version of a four-door TT called the TT Sportback Concept. The concept looked a lot like a standard TT, albeit with some subtle styling changes and of course, two extra doors. We actually loved the concept when we saw it in Paris and wished Audi had put it into production. Audi claimed there wasn't enough customer demand, but there was a much larger reason why the car never reached production.
Sadly, the concept was unveiled right as Dieselgate became a massive cost for the VW Group, forcing it to cut a number of projects across its brands. However, now that Dieselgate is behind Audi, the company has reportedly greenlit the four-door TT for production.
Unfortunately, the four-door TT will act as a direct replacement for the coupe and convertible body style and won't be sold alongside them as we would have originally predicted. Audi simply sees the writing on the wall for the sports car segment and will pivot away from it. Speaking to Auto Express, and Audi executive said "If you set falling demand against rising costs, it's obvious Audi cannot sustain its present course in the medium term. Instead, there has been intensive consideration of the coupe and the convertible in the compact segment."
We aren't exactly happy to see the coupe and convertible go away but at least they are being replaced with a sporty four-door coupe. Unlike the current TT, the new model will feature a mild-hybrid and possibly a plug-in hybrid drivetrain when it arrives in showrooms two years from now.