2019 Audi TT facelift: more R8 design cues and 400bhp TT RS

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Audi will update the TT next year as part of the third-generation coupé’s midlife facelift by applying mild visual tweaks and boosting the performance of its engines.

A spotted TT development car shows the minor aesthetic adjustments to be expected on the car’s exterior; according to the location of the camouflage, these will be focused on its bumpers and lights.

The car, pictured driving at the Nürburgring, wears slimmer headlights that look like miniature versions of those fitted to the R8. The units also feature new day running lights, swapping the L-shaped strips for a longer bar.

Audi’s MQB-based two-door range currently starts with a 1.8-litre TFSI engine, with a 2.0-litre TFSI above that. It also has a 2.0-litre TDI option. Sales for the diesel model almost halved last year, representing just 16% of the TT’s overall sales in 2017 of 7767 units.

The Volkswagen Group has recently introduced a 1.5-litre Evo engine, but that unit’s 148bhp means it would have to sit beneath the TT’s current entry point, making it an unlikely addition. There’s a chance that the diesel engine could be dropped due to its slowing demand, but more likely it will be retained in the facelift due to stronger sales in other markets.  As such, no major changes are expected for the 2019 model’s powertrain line-up. However, if current trends continue, the upcoming TT’s successor could eventually drop the diesel option.

For the facelift, Audi is likely to focus on improving the efficiency and output of the current powertrains. Even the range-topping TT RS, which uses a turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, is only likely to get mild changes. However, that should include a boost to the current car’s 395bhp – potentially pushing it over the 400bhp mark for the first time.

The latest TT acted as a halo car for the brand’s Virtual Cockpit system when it was introduced. However, the facelifted car is expected to make a smaller stride forward in this area. Interior design is not predicted to change too much.

Although it’s not due on roads until 2019, the recent sighting of a near-finished-looking development car suggests Audi could reveal the facelifted TT later this year. The current model was launched in 2014 at the Geneva motor show.

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