Audi probably won't be taking the wraps completely off its new small car until the Geneva Motor Show next March, but spy shooters are already out there hunting down the prototypes. The clearest image we've seen yet shows a mini-car that appears to have changed very little from the MetroProject concept that first appeared at the last Tokyo Motor Show two years ago. The new A1 is expected to go on sale around the middle of next year in Europe although its not clear if it will ever come Stateside.

To keep costs down, Audi is expected to build the A1 with a conventional steel structure as opposed to the aluminum space frame of the A2 of a few years ago. Power is expected to come from a range of gas and diesel engines likely topping out at about 1.4 liters. Some of the unseen mechanical bits will likely be shared with the new VW Polo, but this is definitely more than just a re-badge job as evidenced by the completely different shape.

[Source: Car]