If the rumours are true – and I suspect they probably are – this facelifted TT will be the last of them all. Production is due to end in 2022, when it is unlikely to be replaced.
It’s a strange fate for a car that, 20 years ago, seized the public imagination. It was absurdly successful and seemed, like the Mazda MX-5 and Porsche 911, likely to just go on forever.
A drive in a 2-litre turbo TT reveals where the problem might lie. Then as now it is a startlingly undemanding car: it’s as easy to drive as an A3, quite quick, quiet enough and comfortable. Its handling is reasonable.
But that’s it: the original TT was a design icon, full of stylish flourishes. To a certain image-conscious punter, it made the car stand out a mile. Now it’s just terribly familiar. It still looks good, but no longer daring – the interior is largely generic Audi parts bin components. That sense of occasion that even a fashion vacuum like me could see lay at the root of the original’s success, has gone. And once that’s gone, so too does the argument for buying one.
Because the truth is we’re living in a golden era for relatively affordable drivers’ cars. In cars like the Alpine A110 and Porsche 718 Cayman we have coupés of outstanding dynamic ability. Stuck somewhere between them the TT is lost, slipping slowly away and unlikely to be missed.
Audi TT Coupe 45 TFSI quattro
Engine 2.0 litres, 4 cylinders, turbo
Power [email protected]
Power to weight 177bhp per tonne
Transmission seven-speed double clutch, four-wheel drive
Verdict Capable, but losing its charm
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