30 years before we heard about the Audi TT, at the 1965 Frankfurt International Automobile Exposition, NSU introduced two new spin-off models, an enlarged (1177cc) version of the basic Prinz called the Typ110, and a sporty Prinz 1000TT. The Prinz 1000TT caught the eye of motoring enthusiasts with its quad headlights, tachometer, sports seats, front disc brakes, and two single-barrel Solex 34 PCI carburetors attached to a slightly enlarged (1085cc) Prinz 1000 engine. This arrangement pushed the Prinz engine up to 55hp, and helped to increase sales of the entire Prinz range.
The NSU Prinz 1000 TT was built in 14,292 examples between 1965 and 1967, when it was replaced by the bigger engined TT. This, with a 1.2 liter engine, was built until July 1972 for a total of 49,327 examples. The TT can be recognized by its broad black stripe between its headlights. The TTS was built especially for competition, being successful in both hillclimbs and circuit racing. It has a front mounted oil cooler and was built in 2402 examples from February 1967 until July 1971. It was briefly referred to as the "Prinz 1000 TTS" when first introduced. There was also a competition model of the TTS available for sale, with 83 PS (61 kW). Production of the Typ 67a (NSU 1000) came to a halt in December 1972.
While some people say the name TT came from Technology & Tradition or from the NSU historial on the TT (Isle of Man Tourist Trophy), the majority of people consider the name as an homage to the NSU TT. The styling of the Audi TT began in the spring of 1994 at the Volkswagen Group Design Center in California. The TT was first shown as a concept car at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show. The design is credited to J Mays and Freeman Thomas, with Hartmut Warkuss, Peter Schreyer, Martin Smith and Romulus Rost contributing to the award-winning interior design.
Audi TT Concept
Without almost no changes regarding the concept (except the added rear spoiler for safety reasons) the Audi TT was launched in 1998 and was and instant sucess, turning heads wherever it passed by. It was available as FWD or 4WD with engines options 1.8T 20v (150, 163, 180, 190, 225 and 240 bhp) and 3.2V6 (250 bhp).
What most people do not know is that Audi made a prototype of the Gen 1 (8N) Audi TT that had the RS4 2.7 Bi-Turbo drivetrain outputing 380bhp and 440Nm of torque.
Now on its third generation , the Audi TT is still an eye catcher with the orignal TT design DNA still visible.