First shown as the TT coupe concept at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show and then soon afterward as the TT convertible at the Tokyo Motor Show, the cars heralded a new design language from Audi - the Bauhaus style from the 1930s that looked a little brutal at first, but has proven to have a long and successful production life.
It finally arrived on the European market for the 1999 model year, with America following a little later. Senior Audi models, the A4, A6, and A8, have their engine and transmission sited longitudinally in the car, but the TT was based on the smaller A3 platform, which meant that the mechanical components were sited transversely.
After a slow start, sales picked up and have remained strong ever since. The media loved the Audi TT and continued to write glowing reports about it even though it was six years old in the marketplace, outlasting the Mercedes-Benz SLK, BMW Z3, and Porsche Boxster by quite some time.