There is one car that has to be shown among the TT’s ancestors : the 1995 show car. Audi presented the study at the IAA in Frankfurt in September of that year. And right away, public opinion was clear: The car should go into series production – exactly as it is! So, the decision was made in late 1995 that the Audi TT Coupé would be built. And in 1998, production began. Torsten Wenzel, the exterior designer at Audi who helped translate the study into series production, recalls: “To us, the greatest praise was when the trade press noted appreciatively that little had changed from the study to the series model, although we did, of course, have to adapt several details due to the technical specifications for the series version, including the proportions.” For Wenzel, who owns his own first-generation TT, the TT remains unchanged today, “a drivable sculpture, with the finest surfaces and lines.”
The Audi TT was an innovation with a traditional name
The Ingolstadt-based car manufacturer deliberately deviated from the usual Audi conventions when it named the new sports car back then: The model name “TT” is reminiscent of the legendary Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man, one of the oldest and most spectacular motorsports events in the world and one where NSU and DKW achieved great success with their motorcycles. With the NSU TT, the Neckarsulm-based car manufacturer had already established a connection to the brand’s motorsports successes on the island in the 1960s. The brand with the four rings then used this double reference when naming the Audi TT. Curator Stefan Felber: “We are also showing some special models from this part of TT history in our summer exhibition.” For example, the 1954 NSU Rennfox, the motorcycle that won the TT Ulster and gave its name to the later NSU models Quickly TT and NSU Prinz TT. Through this lineage, it is ultimately also a predecessor of the Audi TT, a model that was as revolutionary as it was brand-defining.
State of the ArTT – the Audi TT turns 25
July 24 to September 24 at the Audi museum mobile; booking and ticket prices online
In addition to exhibits on the history of the “TT” name, the summer exhibition on the history of the Audi TT itself also features several studies and coupés from all three generations, such as the 2005 Audi TT quattro sport, the 2009 Audi TTS Pikes Peak “Shelly”, the 2013
Audi TT ultra quattro concept, and the winner of the 2017 Audi TT Cup.