AUDI AG says that capacity for its TT coupe and roadster may be stretched to the limit when both versions are on sale next year.
The coupe will debut in October and the roadster next spring. The 2+2 seat sports cars will be built at Audi's plant in Gyor, Hungary.
'Our maximum capacity of 30,000 cars a year is already looking tight,' said an Audi spokesman. He cited a large number of customer requests from the USA in particular.
Germany and the USA are expected to be the main markets, each taking about 30 percent of TT sales.
The coupe will debut at the Paris auto show in October, just before dealer deliveries begin. The TT roadster will follow at the Geneva auto show in spring.
Audi is aiming the TT at affluent buyers in their late 30s and 40s.
'This core group will be younger than the usual Audi customer,' said Hans Hoeser, TT brand manager. 'With the TT we want to attract new customers to our products.'
Hoeser said Audi has received more than 20,000 requests for information from potential customers.
The TT will be positioned against the Mercedes SLK and the Porsche Boxster.
'We found out that a large percentage of SLK drivers only occasionally open the top,' said an Audi insider. 'These people are possible customers for the TT.'
The TT is close in appearance to the coupe concept car first shown at the Frankfurt auto show in 1995. Design chief Peter Schreyer and his team limited themselves to a few changes on the C-column, which has been made smaller, and the front grille.
Audi's TT, which measures 4040mm long and weighs 1200kg, is built on the same platform as the Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf and New Beetle.
The TT comes in two engine versions, both turbocharged, 1.8 liter, 4-cylinder units.
The all-wheel-drive quattro makes 225hp and is capable of 243kph. A front-wheel-drive version delivers 180hp and has a maximum speed of 225 kph.
Prices will start at DM52,800 ($29,800) for the 180hp TT, and DM62,000 for the 225hp quattro version.