Audi hints at future TT SUV with Beijing offroad concept

Audi TT offroad conceptAudi has revealed a crossover SUV TT show car in Beijing – and boss Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg admits it’s “a glimpse of how we might imagine a new model in a future TT family”.

Its arrival thus confirms Audi will grow the TT brand from a single model into a range of cars, and an SUV crossover will be the first to arrive.

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The TT offroad concept is a four-door coupe-SUV with clear TT styling cues. It’s being shown in China because the firm believes tough, high-rise cars such as this will become increasingly popular in busy cities such as Beijing.

Overall length of 4.39 metres is, along with the TT offroad concept’s width and wheelbase, very similar to Audi’s current smallest SUV, the Q3. But it is a full 80mm shorter, at 1.53 metres tall. This, along with styling tricks elsewhere, make the TT SUV concept visually appear much smaller than Audi’s other off-roaders.

The overhangs are short, says Audi, while the window-to-body ratio is weighted 70% in the favour of the metalwork – and the glass follows the coupe profile, including the steep drop down at the rear.

Audi has also fitted grey insets for the wheelarches and painted the bottom of the sills grey, which is an Audi allroad cue that conveniently also reduces the visual weight of the car.

Inside, Audi says two adults will fit in the back “comfortably”. They also have infotainment screens, or Audi Smart Displays: there are three of them in total and all can be used simultaneously – and are connected to the internet at 4G LTE speed.

Up front, despite the show car glitz, it’s more conventional: this is a modified version of the stock new Audi TT dashboard, offering further hints this car is production-bound.

Something that may not make it to the showroom as part of the TT SUV’s standard spec, but which could make the Audi Accessories brochure, is the show car’s 1:8 radio controlled car, which coincidentally also showcases the custom-designed stowage areas in the boot.

The TT offroad concept is powered by something else that’s surely production-bound – the Audi e-tron plug-in hybrid drive. This produces 408hp and 479lb ft in show guise, that’s good for 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and 155mph.

And also, 148mpg and 45g/km CO2. Oh, and 31 miles under electric power alone before the engine takes over.

It does this by pairing a 292hp 2.0-litre TFSI with a 40kW disc-shaped electric motor that’s integrated into the e-S tronic dual clutch gearbox. There’s another electric motor on the rear axle, putting out a heftier 85kW. Batteries are mounted in front of the rear axle and, for the show car, can be charged via Audi Wireless Charging, another technology that’s surely production-bound.

Indeed, the Audi offroad concept doesn’t just show what the future TT SUV will look like, but also previews plenty of other Audi technology that the Vorsprung durch Technik firm will be bringing out soon. A very interesting machine to pour over, then.

But the car itself: an Audi TT crossover SUV. What do you think? Logical step or a step too far? Purists and market-aware realists, view our gallery and share your views below…

Managing Director at @editorial_mr. Runs a bit. Loves the motor industry. https://about.me/richardaucock

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