Audi has confirmed that 2023 will be the final year for its seminal TT model. To celebrate a quarter century of the iconic sports car, which debuted as a coupe in production form in September of 1998, Audi of America held a celebratory Cars & Coffee gathering at its headquarters in Herndon, Virginia on April 29th. While the weather looked like it might spoil the party, attendance was not a problem, with cars arriving all morning long to check out the happenings.
The main parking lot in front of the HQ building was reserved exclusively for Audi vehicles, which included a healthy mix of newer enthusiast models as well as veteran quattro coupes and of course, TTs. Audi provided hospitality in the form of free donuts, waffles, coffee and juices from local food trucks, as well as opening up the building for bathrooms and setting up a DJ for some ambiance.
The highlight of the event was most likely the appearance of Freeman Thomas, designer of the original TT concept and first-generation production models. Audi invited him to be part of the farewell celebration, and he could be seen mingling with in-the-know visitors throughout the morning in the parking lot, checking out owners’ cars. At the invitation of Audi of America’s Communications Director Mark Dahncke, Mr. Thomas spoke briefly on the genesis of the TT concept, its somewhat unexpected journey to production approval, and its place in the company history as a brand-defining vehicle. At times he became emotional recalling the excitement of seeing this car come to life as well as the way it has become something of a cult car.
A short Q&A session followed his remarks, and he wrapped up the appearance by sketching out TT renderings for fans who wanted them. The full 20-minute discussion and Q&A session can be seen in the video below.