Audi’s TT was once a design icon, treading completely new ground. It has since moved from design innovation to technological trailblazing with a bold new digital instrument panel. Today, at the 2014 Paris Auto Show, the TT moves once again in a completely new direction: the TT Sportback concept.
Putting a four-seat, five-door spin on the TT’s coupe theme, the TT Sportback expands the TT brand into something that could compete with the Mercedes-Benz CLA Class or potentially the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe.
The TT Sportback is designed to follow in the footsteps of the A5 Sportback and A7 Sportback, though with a new TT-flavored look and feel. The idea? To preview a “new member of a potential TT family,” said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi board member for technical development.
Of course, the TT Sportback isn’t purely a design and packaging concept; it offers some enticing performance properties, too. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rates 400 horsepower and 332 pound-feet; the S tronic seven-speed transmission pipes power to all four wheels with quattro all-wheel drive. As a result, 0-62 mph takes 3.9 seconds.
As with the standard TT, the TT Sportback offers the same 12.3-inch display in place of a conventional instrument panel, as well as offering MMI multimedia and infotainment functions.
At 14.7 feet long, 6.2 feet wide, and 4.5 feet high, with an 8.6-foot wheelbase, the TT Sportback is just 11.4 inches longer, 2.4 inches wider, and 4.7 inches longer in wheelbase than the TT coupe—and it’s actually 1.2 inches lower at the roofline.
Inside, the TT Sportback is intended to seat four adults, despite the low, arched roofline. The rear seats are sculpted into individual positions, rather than a bench, with a functional storage compartment and armrest between the two seats. The individual setbacks can be leaned forward to offer pass-through access for luggage and larger cargo.
The TT Sportback is another extension of the MQB modular transverse matrix architecture from the VW Group, with high-strength steel and Audi Space Frame composite elements helping to balance cost against weight. Aluminum suspension elements help further reduce weight, while 18-inch wave-pattern brake discs shave weight inside the large 21-inch alloy wheels.