Good Oil: Audi's two-seat sportster prepped for EV overhaul
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
Now here’s a model reinvention that no one was expecting ... unless you happen to be one of the Audi executives fiercely arguing in favour of the move for the past five years.
All indicators point to the likelihood that the Audi TT will be reborn as a fully electric crossover vehicle.
UK motoring outlet Auto Express says the next-generation TT is already in development and will tentatively be known as the eTTron (although that seems far too whimsical to be true as far as we’re concerned).
The fourth iteration of TT will shed its low-slung coupe/roadster blueprint in favour of a jacked-up crossover stance. And, silly nameplate or not, it is apparently set to join the carmaker’s roster of fully-electric models.
The TT, despite being a cult hero, has been in decline for some time. Year to date, Audi has managed to shift only 8756 coupe versions and a mere 3362 roadsters worldwide. That’s a blip in comparison to bigger sellers such as the Q2, Q5 and even the hefty Q7.
Clearly a desire to keep the TT as sporty as possible still remains, if the renders (albeit unofficial ones) that we have seen are anything to go by. In morphing into compact crossover SUV territory, the TT will add internal space (seating for four or five), which will increase its wheelbase, too.
Its silhouette might mirror that of an S5 Sportback, so it will be a challenge for Audi’s designers to keep any essence of the TT of old in the picture. On the plus side, with dedicated electric motors onboard, pundits believe the so-called eTTron will have as much power on tap as the current TT RS, if not more.
It’s an interesting advent and with plenty of RS finery still in the stable, Audi clearly feels it can sacrifice its smallest sportscar in favour of what is on-trend. Mind you, where the bottom line is concerned — let alone the desire for big manufacturers to shift to electric power — they might not have much of a choice.
Electric Golf R replacement rumours on the charge
VW says a sports version of the ID.3 is on the table. Photo / Supplied
Speaking of sporty electric cars, the next-gen Golf R might not be a Golf, but rather a “hot” version of the recently released Volkswagen ID.3.
Volkswagen bosses have confirmed to Euro motoring media that a dedicated sports version of the ID.3 electric hatchback is on the table for consideration and could replace the existing Golf R hot hatch in the lineup.
The car would build on the electric power available in the ID.3 (150kW) significantly. Possibly the stuff of motoring writer daydreams, but it is also rumoured any racy ID.3 would have dedicated track modes along the same lines as Tesla’s famous “Ludicrous” setting. An I.D 3 R would, no doubt, feature a dual motor set-up on each axle, making it an all-wheel drive giant slayer.
It all sounds exciting, although the basic ID.3 still has to prove itself as a big seller first. Indications are good that Volkswagen has got it right with the electric hatch, and the carefully disseminated ID.3 R rumour suggests the Wolfsburg-based company isn’t about to sink any development money into an R badged version of the next Golf.
All eyes will be on next year’s international motor show circuit for more news on this one.
Auf Wiedersehen BMW i3
BMW’s marketing director Pieter Nota has ruined Christmas for BMW i3 fans, revealing to the Financial Times that the diminutive disruptor model will be phased out.
Despite leading the charge (pun massively intended) on the Bavarian brand’s electric vehicle development programme back in 2013, the revolutionary little city car has been sidelined.
The company, says Nota, will concentrate instead on adding plug-in hybrid and full electric versions of its more mainstream passenger vehicles to the range.
The manufacturer expects to offer 13 EV models globally by 2023.
Though undoubtably an acquired taste, the i3 has been a modest success for BMW, paving the way for more acceptance of electric technology and proving its worth around the world over two generations.
The next update was due next year, but Nota says this won’t be happening as planned. He wouldn’t be drawn on the fate of the i8, the i3’s supercar sibling.
We’d wager that could remain on the scene longer, being just as niche but better at turning heads — as halo cars are supposed to.