Rumors of a V6-powered Audi R8 bubbled for years before Audi shot them down earlier this month. The rumor of a four-door Audi TT Sportback lasted nine days before Audi put the kibosh on it. Auto Express reported last week that Audi planned to make the next-generation TT a four-door only proposition, eliminating the coupe and roadster due to shrinking demand. This week, Audi’s global head of PR, Peter Oberndorfer, rubbished the report. In an interview with Car Advice during the launch of the new A1, he said, “Where the recent stories came from, I don’t know. I don’t know about a four-door TT.”
Even ruling out Auto Express‘ sources, we could make a compelling, albeit circumstantial, case for the rumor. Audi showed the four-door TT Sportback concept in 2014. The brand’s head of R&D at the time, Ulrich Hackenberg, said the automaker was exploring a TT family as other vehicles in the lineup welcomed Sportback variants. TT sales have declined, although not precipitously, and the two-door sports car market is shrinking globally. Sedans are going away, vintage car nameplates are returning as crossovers, and four-door transformations known by Audi as Sportback, by BMW as Gran Coupe, and Mercedes-Benz as just Coupe, are accepted facts of life.
Oberndorfer told Car Advice, “Actually we had the idea of a TT ‘family,’ so to speak. Not so much anymore.” It wasn’t just the question of how to turn an icon into a practical offering, nor was it just Dieselgate. Oberndorfer said, “You have to concentrate more and more and think about what you can do and what you can afford.” Developing gas and diesel lineups, plus a new EV brand with its lineup, isn’t cheap.
The Audi exec added, “So we’re quite happy with one TT at the moment.” With this news, we’d imagine the little icon’s fans are as well.