Audi Could Save The TT And R8 By Electrifying Them
With the sports car segment shrinking in recent years, the trend has prompted Audi to reconsider the TT and R8 to figure out whether the two models could still have a life beyond the current generations. While many rumors pointed towards the demise of the naturally aspirated supercar and a four-door transformation of the baby R8, Ingolstadt is thinking of an entirely different approach.
At this week’s Annual General Meeting where Audi announced a slew of new models for 2019, Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, the company’s board member for technical development, talked briefly about the TT and the R8. He referred to the former as being “emotional” and that Audi has been “having emotional discussions at the board level.” He admitted some people within the company want to phase out the TT altogether, but Rothenpieler and others are fighting to keep it alive.
Rothenpieler went on to mention he’ll try to convince the high-ranked officials to maintain the TT in production, but in electrified form. He will be doing the same for the R8 in a bid to save Audi’s flagship performance car from extinction. While that’s certainly good to hear, CEO Bram Schot cautioned the two models must bring a profit in order to survive, adding the two make sense in the lineup only if they generate enough sales.
Audi recently facelifted the TT and R8, which means you’ll still be able to buy these cars for a couple of years. What will happen after that? Not even Audi knows that, but we’re hopping the nameplates will stick around in one form or another. Should the two be entirely electrified, these will join the Tesla Model S-rivaling E-Tron GT due in 2021 and the already launched E-Tron crossover in Audi’s EV family. An E-Tron Sportback is coming later this year, along with an Q2 L E-Tron reserved for the Chinese market.