Audi TT Ultra Quattro concept (2013) first official pictures

Published: 25 April 2013

This is Audi’s idea of a TT in the GT3 RS or Superleggera mould: the TT Ultra Quattro concept. Thanks to a ruthless diet and an uprated 2.0-litre TFSI turbo petrol engine, the all-wheel drive TT Ultra will launch to 62mph in 4.2sec, (1.3sec faster than a regular Audi TTS) and hit 173mph flat out.

Just how light is the Audi TT Ultra?

Exactly 300kg lighter than a standard TTS, at 1111kg. A large part of that saving comes from a modified body structure: a carbon rear end, transmission tunnel and B-pillars all shed kilos, as do magnesium floor and door hinge components.

Carbonfibre is everywhere on the TT Ultra. The bonnet is made from the black weave, as are the side skirts, interior trim panels, and the bracing strut across the rear seats. Brakes are of course carbon ceramic, and even the wheel hubs use carbonfibre, mated to aluminium spokes.

Is the TT Ultra just an overload of carbonfibre?

Nope. There’s attention to detail too: Audi’s engineers have also fitted a titanium exhaust system, and saved 22kg by swapping out the TTS’s standard seats for fibreglass buckets pinched from the R8 GT supercar. The car’s unsprung weight is reduced by 6kg using fibreglass-reinforced plastic for the suspension springs, while a new lithium-ion battery (instead of a weighty lead cell) now lives under the driver’s seat to move mass between the axles.

I bet the TT Ultra has a cool stripped-out cabin…

Wrong! Weirdly, Audi has kept all the toys from the standard TTS spec – you still get air-con, electric windows, and an electric parking brake. Kudos are restored thanks to the car’s six-speed open-gated manual transmission, and the addition of drag-reducing rear-view cameras in place of bulky wingmirrors.

How heavily (ahem) has Audi tweaked the engine for the TT Ultra?

Instead of using the TTRS’s turbocharged five-cylinder motor, the TT Ultra keeps the 2.0-litre four-pot from the TTS. Modifications to the crankcase, the crankshaft, the balancer shafts, the flywheel, the oil sump, the bolts and ancillary units shave 25kg from the engine’s weight, and unleash an extra 38bhp, taking the total to 308bhp.

Can I buy an Audi TT Ultra Quattro?

As amusing as it would be to see Audi create a model above the TTRS Plus (TTRS Plus Plus/ Plus Squared/Multiplied?) the Ultra Quattro is merely a design study that will take pride of place on the brand’s Wörthersee show stand. Wörthersee is the VW Group’s annual festival, which began as a Golf GTI enthusiast event in 1981, and has morphed into an event for all mainstream Volkswagen Group members, like Audi, Skoda, and Seat.  It’ll be shown alongside hot Audis you can buy, like the 552bhp RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback, S3 hot hatch, RS Q3 crossover, and R8 flagship.

However, Audi has hinted that the Ultra Quattro shows off the company’s know-how in stripping weight out of a regular production series car, and that we’ll see lessons learned from the exercise applied to future Audi models. As CAR revealed earlier in 2013, one of the models to benefit will be the next-gen Q7 SUV, which will shed a massive 300kg thanks to carbonfibre and aluminium bits on-board.

>> Should Audi put the TT Ultra Quattro into full-scale production? Add your opinion in the article comments below

By Ollie Kew

Former road tester and staff writer of this parish