When the TT sports coupe debuted 17 years ago, Audi quickly found itself in an awkward position. Although the first generation model became a pop-culture sensation and a commercial success, the TT’s popularity as an automotive fashion accessory made respect as a serious sports car hard to come by.
Since then — with every succeeding generation — Audi has made the TT more aggressive and edgy. But its latest incarnation might just be the meanest in the history of the model — at least in concept. Called the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo, it’s a full-on 600 horsepower fire breathing monster.
It currently exists in pure Conceptlandia; Audi hasn’t committed to building a production version, obviously. But it signals Audi’s desire to at long last rid the TT of its cute, fun reputation.
Nothing remains of the TT’s adorable DNA. Instead, lurking deep within the Clubsport Turbo is the specter of Audi’s all-conquering 90 Quattro IMSA GTO race cars of the late 1980s.
Like its racing predecessor, the TT Clubsport is powered by a Audi’s signature 2.5-litre, turbocharged 5-cylinder engine. Here, the powerplant is planned to develop a massive 600 horsepower, theoretically capable of propelling the car to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds.
To make the horsepower available on demand, Audi installed an electric-powered turbocharger instead of a traditional exhaust-driven unit. This technology means you don’t have to endure that annoying wait for turbo power, not uncommon in smaller turbocharged engines.
“The electric biturbo signifies a new dimension in driving enjoyment; it boosts sprinting ability and torque and enables high peak power,” Audi Board Member for Technical Development Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg said in a statement.
The Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept debuted this week in the Austrian town of Reifnitz at the 2015 Wörthersee Tour — an annual festival celebrating all things Volkswagen.
To be sure, the Clubsport is only a technology concept. But Audi say that many of the goodies found onboard are “close to production readiness.”