By Guilherme Marques
Audi did something right with the TT. How many cars look as appealing seven years on?
The Audi TT is the oldest car in Audi’s ever expanding range. It came out in 2006 and we will most likely see the concept for the next generation at the IAA in Frankfurt this year, with the final production model making its debut at Geneva in the spring. Sales will probably kick off shortly after, about a year from now.
So, why are we testing a car whose days are numbered? Well, first and foremost, to ascertain a theory I have long stood for: if you buy an Audi, your car will not look dated for at least 15 years. I have written here on these pages that Audi must have a giant copier machine in its factories because every car looks the same as the last one. Of course there are some differences in each segment, and the A7 is actually quite different from the rest, but overall, Audi has taken very seriously the goal of building a strong image that was universal to all its cars.
You see one at a distance, you know it is an Audi; you see one without the symbol, you know it is an Audi; you see a drawing of the silhouette, you know it is an Audi.
Logically, there are two sides to this story: on the one hand, yes, all Audis look the same, but on the other hand, they age very well, better than rivals from BMW and Mercedes.
The first Audi TT was a big sales success, so Audi decided to press on with a second generation in 2006. With a design better integrated in the family orientation, the current TT is also a winner, with sales being even higher than those of its predecessor.
And, seven years after its launch, I dare you to find one single person saying it is an ugly car. The TT still looks fresh, both inside and out. So fresh that it fares very well against the new BMW Z4 and Mercedes SLK.
And then there is another key element in the current TT: a diesel engine, the one we drove this week. The TT 2.0 TDI quattro with 170 horse power and permanent four wheel drive may not be the most interactive coupé on the market, but it sure is a terrific option for everyday use. It is fast, comfortable, efficient, has a big boot and, with the S-Line optional pack, you still get those envious looks from other drivers on the road – in a seven-year-old car!
I guess my point is made, but let me just tell you something else: in 2007 this TT won the prestigious World Design Car of the Year Award. If there was an award called Timeless Design Car of the Year it would have won that too, because this car will look good for many decades to come.
Should you buy one now or wait for the next generation? If you like it, buy one today. After all, you know Audi will make the next one look exactly like yours.