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2007 Audi TT
TT LEADS TRIO OF NEW AUDIS
Audi is beefing up its performance car lineup and will put the muscular next-generation TT, Nuvolari grand tourer and Le Mans supercar into production over the next three years.
The introduction of the new coupés comes at a time when Audi chairman Martin Winterkorn is looking to raise the sporty profile of the brand. The first salvo, the second-generation TT, has been described as “encapsulating all the style and quality of the original, but with the dynamics and space to head its class”.
Codenamed the AU353, the new TT will be unveiled at the next year’s Frankfurt Motor Show and sources say that it will become available in right-hand drive markets by mid 2006.
Lovers of the Freeman Thomas-penned lines of today’s car will be relieved to know that Audi design boss Walter de’Silva will not change the car’s design much and there will be only mild changes to the detailing and extra interior room.
Distinguishing the new TT from the current model car will be a fresh front end dominated by Audi’s new shield grille as seen on the recently-unveiled A6 range. According to Autocar, the rear will probably be fitted with a retractable spoiler.
The second-generation model will use the Volkswagen Group’s PQ35 platform (used by the latest Golf V and Audi A3). As a result, the next TT will benefit from a series of chassis upgrades that should make it sharper to drive. Its torsion beam rear suspension will be replaced by a more contemporary multi-link arrangement. Other changes include a slightly longer wheelbase and wider tracks, an electro-mechanical steering set-up and uprated brakes.
The new model will offer a choice of front-wheel drive or quattro four-wheel drive. Power will come from new transversely mounted in-line four-cylinder and narrow-angle V6 engines, including the 112 kW naturally-aspirated and 149 kW turbocharged versions of Audi’s two-litre unit and a reworked version of the 190 kW 3,2-litre V6, featuring FSI direct injection technology.
Audi is also working on a TT RS, fitted with a twin-turbocharged version of the upgraded 3,2-litre V6. Developing up to 260 kW, the car is tipped to see the light of day in 2007. Sources say that the new TT model should reach 100 km/h from standstill in less than 5,5 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 250 km/h.
Alongside a standard six-speed manual gearbox, Audi will offer its new six-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) as an option.
Meanwhile, the spectacular mid-engined Le Mans (Codename AU714), revealed in concept form at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, is scheduled to start production at Audi’s Neckarsulm factory in Germany in late 2006. Right-hand drive markets should see the introduction of the Le Mans by mid 2007.
The last of Audi’s new two-door models to arrive will be a production version of the Nuvolari concept car first shown at last year’s Geneva Motor Show. Targeted directly at the recently introduced BMW 6 Series and Mercedes CLK, Audi’s new four-seater coupé is planned for sale in early 2007. A soft-top convertible is also planned for the end of 2007.