So far for 2016, the Audi TT has been the best-selling sports car in Germany, selling 2,299 units between January through March. However, for the month of March alone, the Ford Mustang has outsold the Audi TT in the latter’s homeland of Germany. Admittedly, it wasn’t by a lot, but it was by enough to be startling. Ford moved 780 Mustangs in Germany last month while Audi could only manage to sell 708 Audi TTs. That’s a pretty shocking number.
Cars like the Ford Mustang are exactly the opposite of what the typical German sports car buyer wants. Typically, German customers appreciate quality engineering, efficient performance and solid build quality. They also like smaller cars with efficient engines, as Europe is known for its cramped city streets and strict emissions regulations. So a large pony-car with a 5.0 liter V8 from America is usually not the car Germans flock to. However, it might just offer such a good value proposition that the Germans can’t help but turn against their own.
While the Ford Mustang Ecoboost and GT are both more expensive than their equivalent Audi TT counterparts. The Ecoboost Mustang, which packs a 2.3 liter turbocharged four-cylinder, is 38,000 euros while the standard front-wheel drive Audi TT is 35,950 euros. However, the Ecoboost Mustang puts out 310 hp, compared to the TT’s 220. So only a few thousand euros more for quite a lot more power from a similarly sized engine. The Ford Mustang GT, which pumps out 435 hp from its 5.0 liter V8, costs 43,000 euros, compared to the Audi TT Quattro’s 40,450. But 435 hp vs 220 is a big difference, so the extra 2,550 euros is well worth it, it seems, shaming the TT even further.
Obviously, the two cars drive very differently. The Audi TT Quattro is a small, nimble sports car that prioritizes handling and fun over power and performance. But the Mustang GT is no boring machine itself. Even though it has oodles of power, it’s still a fun car to chuck around and its noise and muscle car-bravado give it character than the TT can’t match. Admittedly, the Mustang cannot match the Audi TT, in terms of interior quality, comfort or technology, but it’s certainly a better performance value. While we’re not saying that the Ford Mustang is the better car, its value proposition is certainly understandable. It’s just more car for the money.
It’s still surprising that so many German customers would buy an American muscle car with a monster V8 in a strict emissions nation over an efficient German sports car. While the TT is still the better selling car so far this year, it’s clear that Ford’s Mustang is gathering steam and could become a very serious sales threat to Audi. The Ingolstadt-based brand has never really had to worry about Ford, as the two companies typically occupied different clientele bases, however, now that the Mustang is as formidable as it’s ever been, Audi needs to seriously watch out for it.