INGOLSTADT -- The future of Audi's TT and R8 sports cars is in doubt as the automaker launches new electric cars and reduces the number of internal combustion cars in its lineup.
Audi's expensive push into EVs, along with high development costs and declining profitability for the niche coupes could mean the end of the low volume halo cars.
Audi is reducing model complexity and cutting costs after being overwhelmed by its diesel-cheating scandal and Europe's new WLTP testing regime.
The R8 and TT are entering the second half of their life-cycle and Audi will soon have to decide whether there will be successors to the models.
"We engineers want them and our sales colleagues want them, but it is a question of whether we can afford them," development chief Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler told Automotive News Europe on the sidelines of Audi's annual press conference here on Thursday.
Engineers are fighting to save the TT and R8 because they are part of Audi's DNA, he said. This might be difficult because Audi parent Volkswagen Group has now told brands to adjust profit margin targets for new models to include CO2 emissions, making the business case for sports cars difficult without expensive electrification, Rothenpieler said
No decision has been made yet regarding successor models, he said.