Audi Is Ruining the TT Coupe and That’s a Good Thing

Audi is trying to justify its existence. The solution?


News of Audi turning the TT Coupe into a sports sedan bubbled back to the surface this week, if reports from Auto Express are accurate. Back in 2014 Audi first floated the idea of making a four-door TT with the Audi Sportback concept but then the multi-billion-dollar international legal problem known as Dieselgate put any tentative plans on ice. Now that some time has passed and sales of the sporty coupe are dwindling, Audi is trying to justify its existence. The solution? Make it more practical by adding two more doors.

The TT, specifically the TT RS, is one of my favorite modern cars on the road. Manual or not, it has similar if not better specs than the 2012 R8 4.2-liter V8: it’s light, planted to the road and handles as any car with all four driven wheels pushed that far its corners should. It makes for one hell of a two-seat sports car. And that’s the TT’s problem. It has a back seat.

Putting a back seat in a car like the TT coupe is useless. Even if the shorter than average person sits in the front seat, the back seat is no better than a shelf for a duffle bag or two. It’s like a joke told with a German sense of humor: it exists but just doesn’t work as well as it should. If Audi accepted this fact, they could make the TT even better by eliminating the back seat altogether and substantially lighten the car which is always, always the way to go.

Instead, Audi is going in the other direction and injecting practicality. According to an Audi board member who spoke with Auto Express, “If you set falling demand against rising costs, it’s obvious Audi cannot sustain its present course in the medium term. Instead, there has been intensive consideration of the coupe and the convertible in the compact segment.” That said, the world (and America, specifically) could use more performance sedans as crossovers and small SUVs multiply and take up more substantial portions of lineups across the board.

Any fear of the TT’s classic handling getting ruined by the additional weight and length (that’ll happen when you add two extra doors), the TT Sedan is said to also gain a few inches in width accompanied by a lower roofline. So despite the extra entry points, it’s very possible it’ll look better than the coupe, too. Bolt in the 400 horsepower 2.5-liter five-cylinder from the TT RS up front, add the extra usefulness of a real back seat (that can fit, you know, other people) and combine it all with the styling of the TT and you’ll have a pint-sized super sedan no other brand is building.

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