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Friday, October 3, 2014

Audi TT Sportback stretches the coupe into a five-door cruiser


 @  Motoramic 
Audi TT Sportback
At first blush, the idea of a four-door Audi TT seems about as likely and useful as a pair of four-legged pants.
 But if you consider the compulsive proliferation of models spawned from the MQB platform that undergrids the new, less Bauhausian Audi two door two-plus-two seater — starting with the VW Golf and spiraling out from there, almost virally — it almost makes sense. 

It would be best to think of this nearly foot stretched iteration of one of Audi's formerly most iconic vehicles as a kind of A7-ization — a handsome, stylized, slant hatched version of a staid sedan.
Except that the TT is already handsomely slant-hatched, and a coupe, and is already known for style — that is, as they say here in Paris, it's raison d'être. At what point does adding style to style approach platinum-plating a gold ring?

Not here, at least not yet. Because the resultant concept is both sporting and attractive, and more practical — a hat trick of sorts (don't try to wear a hat in the back seat, which now represents more than two-plus-two but not quite four. Is two-plus-two-point-two-five a thing? )
Also, it apparently has a 400-hp version of the ubiquitous VW 2.0 liter turbo underhood, and can scoot from 0-60 mph in well under 4 seconds, and we don't tend to complain about things like that. When they being out the pop-top Westfalia version of the TT, we might not complain either. 

Speaking of TTs and tops, the TT-S roadster was also on the Audi stand. This needs far less explaining. It's a TT without a roof, or with one that retracts, losing the ostensible and aforementioned plus-two seating and slant back for a crumpled roof retention and more traditional boot.
 We wonder if the rooflessness will have any washout effect on the TT's spectacular LCD virtual dashboard. We'll have to wait a year or so to find out, at least in the States. But we look forward to trying in bright California sunlight. 

And at the far more functional end of the spectrum, and stand, was Audi's other bit of news, the A6 Ultra. Following the fun new trend of engine bay downsizing, this is a mid-sized sedan with an economy car motor.
Americans are turning on to new diesels — it's a fast-growing segment of our automotive landscape, mainly due to a proliferation of options.
 But we're not sure they'll warm to a big luxe sedan with a detuned 2.0 liter TDI. Perhaps if they eliminated the back seats and added a bed and turned it into a small pickup? We currently have a dearth of those. White space!!