Saturday, January 16, 2010

Audi has begun teasing its upcoming A1 premium supermini ahead of a planned world debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show in March next year. For now, the Ingolstadt-based automaker has shared with us a teaser film showing a graffiti artist painting the A1 on a wall and a video interview with the car's designers, Dany Garand and Stefan Sielaff.

"Our goal with the A1 is a bold one: to repeat the success that we have enjoyed with the A3 in the compact segment," says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi. "With the A1 we're opening another door into the world of premium cars."

Audi previewed the A1 with the three-door Metroproject Quattro study in 2007 and more recently, with the A1 Sportback Concept that was shown in Paris last year.

Exact details are scarce, but the German automaker says that the A1 will "condense all of Audi's virtues into a car that is less than 4 meters long."

It is believed that the production model will remain very close to the two concept models in terms of styling while the premium mini will most likely share its hardware with the recently launched VW Polo.

Longer and wider than a Mini, Audi's premium supermini will be offered with a raft of four-cylinder diesel and gasoline engines with direct injection including the 1.2-liter and 1.4-liter TSI turbocharged petrol units.

According to previous reports, the A1 will initially be launched as a three-door hatch with a five-door Sportback model said to follow shortly after.

There has also been speculative talk about a possible convertible version as well as a MINI Cooper S challenging S1 model with a high-performance turbo engine, but nothing's official yet.

Over the next few weeks, Audi plans to release more details and digital material on its new entry-level model that will challenge both the MINI and the Alfa Romeo MiTo. The first full-blown pictures of the premium hatch are slated to go online in early February.

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