The end of the year is nigh and so too are the production runs of some of our favourite models. The big one, and arguably the most shocking of all, is the axing of the Ford Fiesta: Britain’s best-selling car for yonks and, in ST guise, one of the all-time great pocket rockets. We’ll also be saying ciao to the Ferrari F8 Tributo (yes, it’s still on sale), see ya to the Dodge Challenge and Charger, and, finally, auf wiedersehen to the Audi R8 and its sports car sibling - the TT.
It’s the latter we’re waving goodbye to today, as the final Audi TT has officially rolled off the production line at the car giant’s plant in Hungary. Announced on the company’s Instagram, the last car, the 662,762nd example from three generations of the sports car, looks to be a TTS Final Edition finished in Chronos Grey that’s destined for a left-hand drive market (got to be Germany, hasn’t it). A bit of Googling reveals the configurator is still live, but presumably hitting the ‘order’ button will result in '90s dial up tone and the blue screen of death.
Will the next TT be electric, or is this it for the Audi sports car? We don’t know where the TT is headed, but we do know where it started. Arriving in 1998 with a striking Bauhaus-inspired design, the original TT was, in true Audi fashion, aimed at those wanting sporty looks without any of the quality quirks and dynamic challenges that often characterise many a sports car. That said, the TT did suffer its own foibles at launch, with the unconventional design producing an aero issue at high speed that, following a number of serious accidents, resulted in a recall and the fitment of a small spoiler.
Since then, however, it’s been (mostly) smooth sailing for the TT. The following quarter of a century would see faster and more aggressive models arrive, but there’s something to be said for the original. It was revelatory, and that design hasn’t aged a day in the preceding 25 years. In fact, the car you see here looks just as fresh as it did when it rolled off the forecourt back in 2006. Mostly because it is. With its one and only owner covering just 580 miles in it, this TT is easily one of (if not, the) most original examples on the planet.
Being based on a Mk4 VW Golf, the original TT was offered in many, many configurations ranging from front-wheel drive turbo fours to all-wheel drive 3.2-litre VR6s. This one sits slap bang in the middle: a 1.8-litre turbo with 190hp and 184lb ft of torque, all of which is accessed through a five-speed manual gearbox (ignore the Quattro badges, the dealer's told us it's front-wheel drive). True, the sixes are faster, but the 1.8s were often considered the best of the bunch to drive - and to be driven is exactly what this car needs.
So how much will a nearly-new, 17-year-old car set you back? The seller’s asking £26,950 for it, which is about £3k more than its original value back in ’06. Not quite inflation-busting appreciation, but it’s certainly fared better than most other Mk1s. The cheapest of cheap examples can be had for less than 10 per cent of that, and you can grab a clubsport-style Quattro Sport for under £15k. But whoever buys this example will get to know what it feels like to drive a (very nearly) new Mk1 TT, an experience nobody has had for the best part of two decades.
SPECIFICATION | AUDI TT 1.8 T
Engine: 1,781 four-cylinder, turbocharged
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 190@5,700rpm
Torque (lb ft): 173@1,950-4,750rpm
Year registered: 2006
Recorded mileage: 580
Price new: £23,845
Yours for: £25,950
1 / 6