A Look Back at the Audi TT: A Quarter-Century of Style

It's hard to believe that it's been 25 years since the Audi TT made its debut as an icon of style and performance. From its first race win at Le Mans, right up until today, the TT has become a modern classic favourite among enthusiasts in the UK for its sleek design, powerful engine, and excellent handling. At the end of last year, Audi announced that the TT is set to be axed in 2023. In this blog post, we'll take a look back at some of the key points from the TT's quarter-century history – from its evolution over time to what has made it a legendary sports car. We'll also explore why fans love it so much, and what is rumoured to replace the iconic TT.

The Audi TT has been in production since 1998 but will end in 2023

With a design that has evolved but kept its original character, the Audi TT has been captivating drivers since 1998 - and it's hard to believe, but true, that this classic sports car will be ushered off the production line for good in 2023. Though this news may sadden some Audi enthusiasts, its legacy is sure to last a lifetime; there hasn't been a car quite like it since. It's safe to say that the TT certainly revolutionised what we thought was possible from a compact sports car. Its sharply-defined body lines and trademark boot spoiler has really stood the test of time – many would call it an icon of modern motoring! From the sleek coupe to the convertible Roadster, these vehicles have really made their mark in the world of cars.

Mk 1, Black Audi TT Roadster

The evolution of the TT

The Audi TT certainly broke the mould at its launch with such a stylish and futuristic (for its time) looking vehicle. Albeit, underneath the car was based upon the underpinnings of the Mk 4 Golf. Audi used the infamous 1.8 Turbo engine initially in 180 and 225 bhp guises but was soon joined by a 3.2 V6 250 bhp variant from 2003, which was only available with Audi’s well proven Quattro system.

Despite the successful launch of the Audi TT series, there were a few hiccups along its production journey. There’s a well-publicised re-call whereby Audi retrofitted rear boot spoiler to all cars following several incidents where cars lost control due to a lack of rear downforce. The Mk I went on until 2006 whereby the Mk II was introduced using the new TFSI engine range and a subtle change to the styling. In 2008 a diesel version was introduced - a brave step for a sports car, but opened up a new audience to the car.

Two more performance focused models were introduced thereafter. The TTS was introduced in 2008 producing 268bhp taking the car from 0-60mph in 5.2 seconds; followed by the TT RS model – which boasted an impressive 335bhp and a sub 5 second sprint time to 60 mph courtesy of its 5 cylinder 2.5 engine, evoking memories even today of Audi’s iconic UR Quattro released during the ‘80s glory days.

The TT saw its final evolution in 2014 when the Mk III was released. This last iteration brought updated engine options and a stronger TTRS variant with exceptional power at 394bhp and a 7 speed S-Tronic automatic gearbox.

Review of the Audi TT - what makes it so special

The Audi TT has been loved by 3 of us here at Abbeyfields, true enthusiasts of the TT over the years. Laura, Jayne and Stuart have all owned Audi TTs of different generations.

Jayne bought her Mk I Audi TT Roadster in 2007, he was named Asa and still is to this day.

“…When I made the decision I wanted a soft top, the TT was the first car that came to mind, I have always loved the TT’s design; they are fun and pretty nippy. When I decided to change my car, I did keep Asa and he was SORN for nearly two years, sadly I lost my storage and had to part ways. Happily, my colleague Stuart, bought him off me and I still get to see Asa most days.

Mk I, Black Audi TT Roadster with roof down

Laura bought her first car in 2018 – a 3rd generation 2016 2.0TFSI S TRONIC. We hear from Laura what attracted her to the TT and why she chose it for her first car.

“I remember the first car I ever wanted was an Audi TT. I was 6 years old, and there was a little red Mk I TT always parked at the top of my estate growing up. I fondly nicknamed it ‘The Bubble Car’. Of course, by the time I was 21 and ready to buy my first car the Audi TT had evolved a lot since 2001 and I loved it even more. Stylish, sleek, curvy and a sports mode which still makes me smile even after driving it for 5 years. It is a car I absolutely love and will be prized out of my hands to sell for a bigger car later this year to accommodate a car seat for my new family… I have tried and no it won’t fit!”

Mk III, White Audi TT

Why is it being discontinued and what will take its place?

The TT first hit the UK by storm in 1998 and unrivalled by competition sales were proving popular. However, in recent years sales have dropped meaning Audi have decided to call it a day. The latest update from Audi is to move towards electrification and an upgrade to a new style of “emotional” model that will be much larger and could even have 4 doors – unlike the TT.

Audi have said that they don’t just want to electrify the existing model of the TT, but to update their portfolio of cars (Autoexpress).

Unfortunately, we don't have the copyright or access to images, but you can see a sneak peek of the potential new design here

~Stuart Moore Profile Pic

Stuart Moore

Stuart is our club liaison and has been proudly petrol heading since he can remember. He's also knows a thing or too about specialist vehicle insurance. Get a quote online or call Stuart on 0121 550 2380 - he's here 9 am to 5 pm, Mon to Fri.