WHEN IT comes to the world of mass-produced cars, the Audi TT stands out as the equivalent of a pair of Church’s chelsea boots or Jimmy Choos. Drivers buy it to feel good about themselves and put a spring in their step. Now Audi wants to cash in on the car’s success and produce a family of TT models, starting with this, the TT off-road concept.
Just as the Mini hatch spawned the Countryman, the TT off-roader could become the practical cousin of the coupé and roadster models. SUVs are enjoying levels of global demand to rival Scandinavian TV dramas (last year the sector grew by 19% in Britain) and key competitors BMW and Mercedes are one step ahead of Audi, with the X4 and GLA.
“The TT can be a family,” Rupert Stadler, the head of Audi, said at the Beijing motor show, where the car was revealed. “This concept shows we can do it as long as the genetic code is kept.”
The genetic code that Stadler refers to is corporate speak for the brand’s pronounced flared wheelarches, the shallow window line and distinctive rear lights. Some TT owners may be offended at the thought of this being applied to an off-roader, but in its drive to become the largest manufacturer of premium cars in the world, Audi believes there is no such thing as a niche too far.
The TT off-roader features hybrid propulsion, with a range of 31 miles on battery power alone. A wireless charging system allows it to regenerate battery power when parked over a specially installed plate. A two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 288bhp is paired with two electric motors to give high performance (0-62mph in 5.2 seconds), four-wheel drive and impressive fuel economy — a claimed 148.6mpg with CO2 emissions of 45g/km. These are detailed forecasts for what is billed as a concept car, suggesting Audi has already made up its mind to take the TT off road.
Audi TT off-road concept
- 2 litres, 4 cylinders, turbo, plus 40KW electric motor driving front wheels and 85kW one for rear wheels
- 6-speed e-S tronic dual-clutch
- 0-62mph: 5.2sec
- Top speed:
- 148.6mpg (combined)
- £35,000-£40,000 (expected)
- Release date:
- Watch this space