Clear shots out in the open

These shots give the best view yet of both, the coupe and roadster version of the next-generation Audi TT, showing how the company has grown and adapted its design to stay at the top of the style charts. The models revealed here will be joined by a three-door hatch variant, but it's the classic two-door body style that will make up most of the sales. Although the hatchback Shooting Brake concept - unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show back in October - was first to showcase the TT's new look, these pictures uncover the production version for the first time. It has been caught testing by our spies and, as you can see, the current model's instantly recognisable lines have been moulded into something much more modern.

Ready to go on sale late this year, the TT will have a new rival in the shape of BMW's Z4 coupe, but the next Audi will boast a more spacious cabin. While the outgoing model's back seats are uncomfortable for adults, rear passengers in the newcomer will benefit from extra space, and there will be more luggage room in the boot.

The extra millimetres have given the company's designers greater flexibility to pen a more attractive hood for the Roadster, which will join the line-up in 2007. What's still uncertain is where the three-door Shooting Brake version will fit into Audi's range. If it's priced as an entry-level variant, it will be too close to flagship A3 V6 models; but if it's placed at the top of the range, it could steal sales from the rumoured forthcoming executive A5 coupe.

Benefiting from Audi's latest engine technology, the new TT will be offered with the 2.0-litre powerplant from parent company Volkswagen's Golf in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged forms. A 250bhp 3.2-litre six-cylinder unit will head up the range at launch, and all motors will benefit from VW's latest Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) technology to boost efficiency.

The firm's latest turbocharged and supercharged engine will be available too, while plans to develop a diesel TT are thought to be underway. All but the entry-level variants will come with quattro all-wheel drive, but buyers can expect a more involving driving experience across the range.

Enthusiasts also have the prospect of a genuine supercar-baiting TT flagship to look forward to. Likely to be badged the RS, this range-topper will be powered by a 2.0-litre bi-turbo unit, and will take on BMW's hot Z4 M. Expect to see the new coupe in the metal for the first time at the Paris Motor Show in September this year, with the first lucky buyers taking delivery before the end of 2006.

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