Sunday, January 24, 2010
From Concept to Reality: First Generation Audi TT
Welcome to a new series which will be following your favorite cars that made it from concept to reality. Strap in, it's about to get fun-u-cational. As always, any recommendations, suggestions, thoughts and ideas are much welcome.
Audi's TT: The little squashed Beetle that could (and did). This is the car that brought Audi some serious attention in the mid- to late-90's while also influencing design for the brand that always wanted to play in the BMW/Benz league. Mission accomplished.
Debut (Concept): 1995 Frankfurt International Auto Show (TT Coupe) ; 1995 Tokyo Motor Show (TTS Roadster)
Debut (Production): 1998 Paris Motor Show (1999 Model Year Audi TT Coupe) ; 1999 Geneva Motor Show (2000 MY Audi TT Roadster)
Lost in translation: Other than the Coupe's more cleanly styled rooftop design that did not include rear-quarter windows and the TTS's funky front fender vents, not a whole lot.
But we got to keep: Just about everything else including the baseball stitching on the roadster's seats. Sweet.
Fun fact: The TT name has a bit of a bickering going on behind it. While those clinging to the past stand by the fact that it hearkens back to the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) motorcycle race and NSU's Prinz-based 1000TT, 1200TT, and TTS of the 1960's, others claim Audi originally meant for it to stand for Technology & Tradition.
Did you Know? Due to some highly publicized high speeds crashes, Audi was forced to revise the TT's suspension and ESP settings, and to add a rear spoiler to force the car to stick to the road.
Where is it now? Enjoying a second generation with a more mature design that incorporates a retractable rear spoiler, and more trim levels that you can throw a shoe at, including a 5-cylinder, turbocharged 340-horse RS bomb-on-wheels.
By Phil Alex
Phil Alex was born in Rhode Island in 1985. He graduated with degrees in Finance and German from Wofford College in 2007 and has had an obsession with cars and travel. Currently he resides near Japan's international airport in Narita. He makes no apologies for his articles and welcomes all feedback, as long as it is adamantly worded. If for any reason you are inclined to vent some more, check out more of his posts on the Examiner here.