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Audi storms SEMA with a 600-horsepower TT inspired by a 1980s icon

Audi wants to prove the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas isn’t just about American muscle cars and Japanese pocket rockets. It’s bringing a dose of German performance with a brand-new concept named TT clubsport turbo that pays homage to the past while looking at the future.

By Audi’s own admission, the TT clubsport turbo draws inspiration from the flame-belching, wide-bodied 90 IMSO GTO race car that tore up tracks all around the world in the late 1980s. It remains one of the company’s most emblematic race cars to this day, achieving almost the same cult status as the Quattro coupes built to compete in Group B rally events. The modern-day concept channels the 90 IMSO GTO’s spirit with a full body kit that adds a splitter attached to the front bumper, side skirts, and a manually adjustable wing attached to the trunk lid. The spoiler is made out of carbon fiber in order to keep weight in check.

No tribute to the 90 IMSO GTO would be complete without flared fenders, and the TT clubsport turbo doesn’t disappoint. Audi points out the coupe is 5.5 inches wider than the standard, street-legal TT available through its dealer network.

All of that hardware wasn’t installed just for show. More important modifications are found under the hood, where the concept hides an evolution of the TT RS‘ 2.5-liter TFSI five-cylinder engine fitted with an electric turbocharger, a state-of-the-art piece of kit that eliminates turbo lag. Its output, you ask? Six hundred horsepower, which makes it one of the most powerful TTs ever built. Fully functional and ready to rumble, the concept car hits 62 mph from a stop in 3.6 seconds before going on to a top speed of 192 mph.

There’s no word yet on what the future holds for the TT clubsport turbo concept. Right now, it’s merely a design study built to show SEMA attendees what Audi Sport is capable of in terms of on-road performance. We know the company is keen to expand its footprint with more models, so the TT clubsport turbo concept could one day spawn a production model. Act fast if it happens, because it will most likely arrive as a limited-edition model.

The good news is enthusiasts will soon be able to build their own high-performance TT using parts developed and built by Audi Sport. The brand has announced plans to launch its Performance Parts division in America for the first time. Select American dealers will begin selling mechanical and visual add-ons for the R8 and the TT next year.

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