The Audi TT will go down as one of Audi’s most iconic models ever, with a silhouette that is well recognised by many.

Debuting almost 25 years ago, the TT has evolved but has always stuck with that highly appreciated styling. But as Audi increasingly looks to focus its attention on electrified models, the TT’s days are now numbered, with the firm now confirming a ‘Final Edition’ for 2023 as the final swansong for this sports car. Ahead of the model being discontinued later this year, we take a look back at its history.

Audi TT 1995 Concept

1995 – the TT story begins

The TT starts its days in 1995 with Audi presenting a concept version of the sporting model at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

With a noticeable gap in Audi’s portfolio for a more affordable performance car, the TT aimed to fill that gap. It takes its name from the famous Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) motorcycle racing.

1998 – Concept turns into reality

Quite often concept cars are little more than futuristic ideas envisioned by designers, and an opportunity for them to let their hair down. While certain elements might make their way into production, it’s rare for virtually the entire car to make its way into production.

But that’s exactly what happened with the TT, with Audi presenting its road-ready model in 1998, and virtually unchanged from the concept. A year later the TT coupe would be joined by a convertible Roadster model.

Silver Audi TT First Generation
Orange Audi TT V6 Version

2003 – V6 power available

From launch the Audi TT was purely sold with a choice of 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engines, many of which were available with the firm’s legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system.

But in 2003 Audi bolstered the line-up with the addition of a more characterful 3.2-litre V6 engine, taking the power up to 247bhp – the most powerful for the time.

2005 – First-generation TT bows out with limited-edition Quattro Sport

The first-generation TT was a huge success for Audi, and unsurprisingly Audi wanted to celebrate the end of this Mk1 model in style.

So the ‘final edition’, so to speak, was the Quattro Sport, which was sold in 2005 and 2006. Limited to 800 units in the UK, it was only available in a handful of colours and benefitted from a number of weight-saving measures and a tuned 1.8-litre engine to 247bhp.

Audi TT Quattro Sport in Silver
Audi TT Second Generation in Red

2006 – Second TT arrives but the recipe remains the same

Given the success of the original TT, it’s not surprising Audi didn’t want to stray too far from its winning formula, so the second-generation model, which arrived in 2006, was very much a story of evolution.

Around 14cm longer and 8cm wider than the first TT, Audi made it sportier to drive, while also introducing a new 2.0-litre petrol engine, shared with the Volkswagen Golf GTI at the time. The TT Roadster model arrived in 2007, while Audi would expand the range with a diesel model too.

2008 – Sportier TTS and RS models launched

Audi expanded the already-extensive line-up of engines in the TT with two additional derivatives.

The first of these came in 2008 with the TTS, using a 268bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine, while a year later Audi would really turn up the heat with its first ‘RS’ version. Using a new 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine putting out 335bhp, it allowed the TT to accelerate from 0-60mph in just 4.4 seconds and head on to a top speed of 174mph.

White Audi TTS and Blue TT RS
Yellow Audi TT Third Generation

2014 – Tech makeover for the TT

By 2014 it was the turn of the third-generation TT to make its entry, and it was by far the most advanced version yet.

Introducing a number of new Audi technologies, highlights included a 12.3-inch ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital instrument cluster. To simplify the cabin layout, there was no main touchscreen media system, either.

Alongside regular petrol and diesel models, there was the 296bhp TTS, as well as the mighty TT RS, which stuck with the five-cylinder engine, but saw its power increase to 395bhp. Able to accelerate from 0-60mph in just 3.5 seconds, it offered performance capable of rivalling many supercars.

2018 - The 20th anniversary

To mark 20 years of the Audi TT, a revised model was introduced, which included the sports car gaining more power, additional equipment and a subtle redesign that brought the TT’s styling more in-line with Audi’s latest models at the time.

At the same time, Audi also introduced a ‘TT 20 Years’ model. Limited to just 999 units worldwide, the models came in set colour configurations, while also boasting an upmarket Nappa leather interior with ‘baseball’ stitching – a cue first seen on the original concept car.

Audi TT 20 Year Facelift
Final Edition Audi TT in Grey

2023 – The curtains close

In February 2023, Audi announced the slightly upsetting news that the TT was coming to an end. Set to be discontinued by the end of the year, the occasion is being parked with a ‘Final Edition’, which gets a number of specific styling elements and additional standard equipment.

On the TT RS, there is also a specific Iconic Edition – a pricey and rare model that is being limited to just 11 units in the UK. Gaining a particularly sporty bodykit that’s unique to the model, it also features an Audi Exclusive interior.



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