Nonetheless, the TT came as a bit of a shocker. There was the mid-decade TT concept, photographed apparently inside a massive turbine hall or something. And then pop: there it was on sale, looking, if anything, better than the concept.
So we bought them. We bought loads of them. Loads to the extent that I wonder whether the TT was the car that taught Audi it could do well filling what had previously been thought of as niches. By the end of the first-generation TT’s production run, in 2006, Audi had added its first Q model, the R8 and Allroad models to its range. And the A2, of course, which had been and gone. Shame.
But now, three generations down, apparently it’s the TT that’s under threat, seemingly because we’ve stopped buying it in big enough quantities. It’ll go on until 2022 but, in the same two-door form, possibly no longer than that.
Perhaps that’s part of the problem: we’re buying those, or hot hatchbacks, and not TTs. And, while I couldn’t honestly implore you to buy a TT over a great-driving coupé, if the choice is the Audi or a hatchback, do buy the TT. If nothing else, it’ll be lower, lighter, more compact and a lot more interesting.
And this, I think, is important. The Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ look like they’ll be replaced like-for-like, even though – how to put this? – I don’t think it’s Toyota’s most profitable vehicle. But I think Toyota’s bosses know, at the moment, anyway, that making interesting cars is good for the wider business.
There are “emotional discussions” in Audi’s boardroom about the TT’s future. I hope they go its way because an Audi range without the TT would only be a little per cent smaller, but a big per cent duller.