Audi TT Open Sky Concept Is The Targa Tourist Trophy We Didn’t Get

After the Quattro Spyder and Avantissimo, the third episode of our journey through some of Audi’s most interesting concepts dials the time machine to 2001. It was at that year’s Frankfurt Motor Show where the TT Open Sky concept was introduced as a one-off Targa derivative of the original Tourist Trophy. You’ll be forgiven for not remembering the concept as it debuted shortly after the 9/11 tragedy.

Why do we like the TT Open Sky?

Although we’d take the first-gen TT coupe over the Mk1 roadster, the open-air thrills provided by the latter are hard to ignore. That was the beauty of the TT Open Sky as it blended both body styles by offering coupe-like sleekness with the hardtop in place and roadster-esque sensations after removing the roof.

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Is that all?

A nifty feature of the Tourist Trophy in this unique Targa configuration was found in the trunk where there was a special place to put the glass fiber composite panels. Upon pressing a button, the two removable halves popped up to facilitate access. Pressing that button again lowered the targa top into the cargo floor’s recess.

The TT Open Sky obviously sacrificed some of the cargo volume to accommodate the roof when stored in the trunk. That said, the ability to take the dual-piece targa everywhere without having to leave it at home was great, especially if it started raining all of a sudden.

Anything else?

The TT Open Sky has an interesting history because it wasn’t actually developed by Audi. Over in Graz, Austria, Magna Steyr was in charge of the engineering, much like it was also responsible for the actual first-generation TT. It goes without saying the renowned automotive contract manufacturer had Audi’s full approval to create this targa-topped conversion.

To build the TT Open Sky, the company combined the front fascia, A-pillar, and the floor of the roadster with the rear of the coupe. Invisible from the outside, a new B-pillar had to be developed as part of the built-in rollover bar. It sat in front of a tiny triangular side window exclusive to the TT Open Sky concept.

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Why wasn’t the TT Open Sky built?

Neither Audi nor Magna Steyr answered this question, but chances are it would’ve been too expensive to produce what would have been a car targeting a limited crowd. Between the coupe and the roadster, the TT was covering pretty much all the bases, therefore demand for a targa would have been probably too low to justify the efforts.

Adrian Padeanu

Long-time fan of the fabled Four Rings.