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Audi "fighting" for new electric TT; other RS models to "become electric"

The Audi TT could get an electric makeover
Andrew Chesterton
Contributing journalist

15 Mar 2019 • 3 min read

Stories of the Audi TT's demise appear to have been wide of the mark, with the brand telling the media it was currently fighting to introduce an electrified version of the iconic sports car for its next generation.

Speaking at Audi AG's Annual Press Conference in Germany, the brand's board member for technical development, Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, denied reports the TT wouldn't be replaced, instead saying the TT was a part of Audi's DNA, and that he was fighting to introduce and electrified version - despite some in business pushing to see the vehicle axed.

Mr Rothenpieler wouldn't be drawn on details, but promised more information when the brand has "concrete plans".

"The TT is a topic which is very emotional for us," he said. "There are some people who say we’ll stop this, but I say it’s part our DNA.

"And in due time we’ll be able to tell you what exactly we plan to do. But we want it. It’s our DNA, it’s what we’re fighting for.

"And I’m going to convince my colleagues in terms of how it can be electric, but you’ll hear more from us when we have more concrete plans."

The potential change to the TT mirrors the broader Audi Sport strategy, with Mr Rothenpieler confirming the brand's entire performance range would be electrified in the coming years.

"The RS vehicles will need a change toward e-mobility, and that’s what we’re currently discussing," he says. "We have to maintain and keep our sporty DNA. Our discussion are what we will need internal combustion engines for, and what we can transfer to e-mobility right away.

"But one thing is clear, we are an emotional brand. And Audi will always have icons. The Audi e-tron GT, it will be one of them.

"The first step towards e-mobility in the area of sport models, like RS, is the e-tron GT. That’s the first step.

"What we are going to do, and have to do, is (that) Audi Sport must all become electric, we must have e-mobility there as well. Our icons must become electric."

In happy new for performance car fans, it seems the R8 won't fall victim to Audi's plans to rationalise its range, despite its relatively low sales volume, with Mr Rothenpieler labelling it an icon for the brand.

"The TT and R8; we have discussions about them, and we are looking at volumes, and profitability is something we need to focus on. But icons are a part of Audi, and we’re still going to have them in whatever form," he says.

Would you like to see an electric TT? Tell us in the comments below.