The latest Audi concepts are a bit dazzling -- but often for all the wrong reasons.
But even while the Sport Quattro loses appeal on its exterior, the interiors of this next-gen set of Audi sports cars might be the real news.
A totally clean-sheet layout revamp brings an ultra-low and minimal front dashboard that is simply divine.
Allroad Shooting Brake - 2014 Concept Interior:
CES 2014 - SQ Concept Interior
Will the TT be able to proudly join the Audi sports car family in this generation? Despite is alloy-intensive construction in the current generation of TT and TTS models, the car is not exactly a join to drive fast.
The current 98%-front-bias Haldex AWD and transverse engine layout present some very steep uphill challenges for the TT's dynamics.
Poor handling dynamics were always the TT's big question mark, and the car suffers from this in a way that does not seem to still hurt the firm's latest big sedans like the A6 and A7.
So, without a fresh style and unknown handling, will the TT appeal to Cayman shoppers whatsoever?
The initial sketches of the forthcoming TT came out today, with impressive LED Matrix lighting that is a bit less... jarring than the Sport Quattro.
I once referred to the Sport Quattro's lights last Summer as "the gross half of the Phantom-of-the-Opera's face" in a bit of a nod to my all-time favorite comedy: Family Guy.
What do I personally find disjointed about the Sport Quattro's appearance?
-- The car's front, sides and rear ends do not match or even have the same general appearance
-- The SQ looks best in a low, tight shot of its front wheels and fenders
-- The nose is ... frightening to children and grown-ups alike
-- The rear shoulders make this look like a front-drive hatchback or future Scirocco
-- The rear glass is a flat sheet straight from the Lada back catalog
-- The rear lights also look like someone's first day in the CAD-CAM machine
Luckily, the TT goes a different route. This Geneva car is expected to be the production model for sale later in 2014 (versus a concept-car exaggeration of its best features).
Official Details from Audi below.
All-new Audi TT ready to take shape in Geneva
A new take on one of the most iconic Audi models in recent years will be unveiled next month.
Debut at Salon de L'Automobile Geneva, March 6-16 2014
Audi Press Conference on Press Day, March 4 at 9am CET
Design line reminiscent of the first model generation
Audi virtual cockpit and Matrix LED headlights are the technical highlights
Interior design with focused, minimalist styling
Ingolstadt, February 20, 2014 - At next month's Geneva Motor Show Audi will pull the wraps from a completely new iteration of the compact sports car that tore up the rulebook and changed the course of design in its class at its 1998 launch. For the third generation of the iconic TT, the designers have reinterpreted a host of ideas from that first, game-changing template.
The front end of the new Audi TT has dominant horizontals. The Singleframe grille is broad and flat. Two contours form a V-pattern over the bonnet. The position of the four rings is also new - they now sit centrally on the hood, echoing the R8.
Struts divide up the large air inlets. The headlights repeat this motif - they are structured with divider struts acting as reflectors for the daytime running light. Audi can supply the headlights as an option with LED technology or its pioneering Matrix LED technology, where controllable individual light-emitting diodes generate the main beam.
Many details of the new Coupé's profile are reminiscent of the first generation's classic design. The sill contour forms a powerful light edge and the wide wheel arches constitute distinct geometrical entities. At the front, the wheel arch intersects the bonnet join, which continues over the door as the tornado line and extends all the way to the rear. The flat greenhouse looks like an entity in its own right. The shape of the C-pillar, with a slight kink, gives the TT a powerful, athletic look and enhances the impression of tension.
At the rear, too, horizontal lines reinforce the wide and focused impression. The struts in the rear lights pick up on the headlights' motif. They remain permanently on - another Audi innovation. The third brake light with a flat strip shape links the two units on either side. All engine versions have two large, round exhaust tailpipes in the diffuser. Like all Audi S models, the TTS features four tailpipes.
Inside, too, the styling is so light it almost seems to float, evoking the clean sports car character of the new Audi TT. The centre console and door trims have flowing, matching shapes. Seen from above, the dashboard resembles the wing of an aircraft. The round air vents, a classic TT feature, have a turbine-like look and incorporate the air conditioning controls. This solution - and the elimination of the central MMI monitor, now replaced by the Audi virtual cockpit - paves the way for the dashboard's remarkably slim architecture.
Sharper lines and a more dramatic interplay between surfaces will be particularly notable features of the third generation of the Audi TT, but they only scratch the surface of a pedigree sports car that has been systematically refined in every department, both inside and out.