It’s 25 years since the Audi TT made the successful transition from concept to production with only minor cosmetic alterations. Few cared that it was based on a platform shared with humble Volkswagen Group hatchbacks, because the Bauhaus-inspired TT offered style and flair by the bucket load.
In many ways, the TT could be said to be the most significant car from Audi’s past when it comes to transforming the image of the German marque, arguably more influential in mainstream circles than the original Quattro.
Two generations followed the original, but neither could replicate the show-stopping glamour of the ‘ur-TT’.
How has Audi chosen to mark the 25th anniversary of its design classic? By killing it off. The recently announced and aptly-named TT Final Edition goes on sale in March and is available as a coupé or roadster, just like the original. Prices start from £41,910, but you’ll need to find the best part of £56,500 for the TTS Final Edition roadster.
Alternatively, you could find out what it was like to live with a Mk1 Audi TT by considering this 535-mile example that’s up for auction. With an estimate of £9000 to £11,000 plus a buyer’s premium of 15 per cent, it smashes the Hagerty Valuation Tool price guide by a comfortable margin, but how often do examples like this come up for sale?
Manor Park Classics says: “Maybe with the exception of Audi UK having a collection of cars as manufacturers often do, we think there may not be another car like this in existence. This really is an opportunity to acquire a ‘timewarp’ Audi TT, amazingly it even has that new car smell, which can go into a collection or maybe have a ‘new’ 2006-registered Audi. We are sure there will not be another.”
Don’t be fooled by the ‘quattro’ badges, because this 1.8-litre model is resolutely front-driven. As a 2006 model, VAG’s ubiquitous 1.8T engine develops 190bhp, rather than the 180bhp of the earlier cars. We’re not sure if sticking a ‘quattro’ badge on a front-wheel drive Audi is up there with the abuse of BMW’s ‘M’ badge, but we reckon they need to be removed.
The private plate will be included in the sale, but it’s worth noting that the TT was last sent for an MOT in August 2015. It has covered just 54 miles since then, but you’ll need a test certificate unless you intend to stick the car in an air-conditioned basement.
Some would argue that it deserves to be in a museum as an example of a successful transition from concept to reality – the clichéd ‘concept car for the road’. Sure, it was no driver’s car – you won’t find it listed in Autocar’s 100 Greatest Road Tests, for example – but As Andrew Frankel points out when pitching the original TT as a future classic: “Subsequent generations were of course faster still, and handled better, but lacked the entirely stunning visual innovation of the original.”
Fancy owning a design classic? The Audi TT will go under the hammer at the forthcoming Manor Park Classics auction on Saturday.