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Audi Concepts: The TTS

March 8, 2013 by Matt

Audi TTS Concept Gray

Whatever your thoughts about the production version (too cute, not a real sports car, etc), there’s no denying Audi’s initial TTS Concept, unveiled in 1995, was groundbreaking.

Let me explain. The TTS Concept is an exercise in context—every single styling feature has meticulously thought-out relationships with the ones surrounding it, and the overall result is an incredibly cohesive-looking vehicle. Most significantly, Audi gave the car’s wheels a context—notice how the curve of the front and rear of the car neatly echoes the circular arc of the wheels. This has the effect of integrating the wheels more closely into the TTS’ overall look.

Audi TTS Concept Gray Rear Back Taillights

Big deal, you say; cars have had wheel arches and fender flares for ages. True, but to my knowledge the TTS was the first car to have such a tight connection between its wheel design and placement. Consider: If you changed the average car’s wheelbase by an inch or so in either direction, it would hardly alter the car’s look, but with the TTS, the wheels are located precisely where they are because of how they relate to the car’s front and rear styling; any change in their location would wreck the design.

Audi TTS Concept Interior Inside Cockpit Console Dash Dashboard

With its chunky “baseball glove” stitching mated to clean, geometric shapes, the interior is a home run as well. Some elements didn’t survive the transition to production, primarily the aforementioned stitching, the gauge typography and the raw aluminum door bars, but Audi wisely kept most everything else intact. Between the color combination (chocolate leather and battleship gray paint), meaty switchgear and a perfectly laid out control arrangement, the TTS’ interior looks like a very inviting place to be.

Audi TTS Concept Interior Inside Cockpit Console Dash Dashboard

I think what I appreciate most about the TTS Concept is its fusion of the beautiful with the rational. Every single line, curve and feature seems designed and placed with a definite sense of purpose; it’s the antithesis of the “Well, it just looks right” school of design. No, the best styling efforts have thought and intentionality behind them, and that design creedo shines through the TTS Concept.

Image credits:

Editor’s note: This post is part of an ongoing series discussing Audi’s rich history of legendary concept cars. Read the other installments here:

Filed under: Aesthetics, Audi, Audi Concepts

1 Comment

  1. TTlove says:

    Audi TT is one of the best cars, both in terms of design and performance

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