• Nov 30, 2009
Audi A1 Sportback concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

After watching from the sidelines for years as arch-rival BMW found success with the Mini brand, Audi is finally gearing up to jump into the scrum with the new A1. But unlike the Mini One (which slots below the Cooper in overseas markets), Audi doesn't intend to target the budget market. Instead, the new A1 will take aim directly at the Mini Cooper.

Don't expect to see any engine badges on the back of the four-ringed Polo, however, as Audi reportedly intends on keeping the displacement on the A1 hidden. An S1 is tipped to be in the works, but short of that the only thing onlookers will have to distinguish one engine model from another is the exhaust note. Expect the pre-production A1 – previewed by the Metroproject and A1 Sportback concepts – to debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show with sales beginning later next year.



[Source: EVO]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I swear its just me but it seems like Audi just throws LED headlights on their cars and calls it cutting edge design. I mean, it looks good... but take those out and you have a bland box. Audis without those LEDs look really mediocre.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with you in that Audi does need to push their designs more, but I feel that their cars are nevertheless some of the most beautiful. ie: the 2011 A8
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's built on a polo chasis and doesn't have independent rear suspension. I will sell because of the brand and because of the design but it will just be an expensive polo that doesn't drive nearly as well as a mini... Just a guess
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the front, but that's pretty much it............
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is one Audi that looks frumpy..
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like a pretty good little car. I like the dimensions and I think the overall details will look smoother in the production model, but competing directly against the mini cooper? This car looks significantly bigger and will probably cost a little bit more, but it might sell well in Europe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd rather see Audi keep their model line-up to where it is now. Unless this car is priced under $25K it'll sink.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't think audi will see near mini numbers. regardless of whether or not this car is better in every way (which wouldn't be hard). the mini sells, well sold, in numbers because it's kitche. were the a1 a modern prinz tt? still probably not, people don't have a fondness for the nsu prinz the way they do for the mini, even the simulacra of the mini.

      That said. i'll take an s1. just give it the S3's powerplant :P.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Can't help but think this is one pooch Audi will royally screw.

        Proper screw.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think this is an attractive vehicle, but why make it a 4 door in this size category? Give me the exact same lines and proportions with 2 adult size doors (and keep the hatch) and I'll consider it.

      Of concern is what they consider "premium". I definitely appreciate premium mechanicals including engine, transmission, and suspension, but I definitely do not want a harsh ride. I value economy as much as "performance", meaning 0-60 under about 9 seconds would leave me satisfied. If premium means a gawdy leather and wood trimmed interior, then you can keep it. I prefer excellent mechanicals in a somewhat unpretentious, yet comfortable, blue collar wrapper. And if this has the lame torsion beam suspension like the Polo, then don't even bother bringing it to the US. We've already got a million other small car offerings so equipped.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Just stop saying audis are rebadged VW. That's just ridiculous compared to what e.g. GM does/did.
        • 5 Years Ago
        We can stop saying it but it is still true. Gm may be worst, that doesn't change things either
      • 5 Years Ago
      So they are going to fight two door Mini with something the size of Fiesta ?!? Really ?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Own a mini? Ever tried to put adults in the back? Building the A1 a little narrower than the Mini (
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, as a MINI owner, I can categorically say that I bought it PRECISELY of how practical it is!

        It's practical to park [where I live, parallel parking is a way of life, and takes place 90% of the time], practical for hauling large items (with the seats down, you have no idea just how much it can carry! I have haulted 10 moving boxes, a screen door, 9ft long lumber, two full-grown golden retrievers, etc... Basically, almost anything I've needed to fit, has managed to fit. Many full-sized SUV's aren't much more capacious due to all the internal molding (at least in the width department).

        Beyond that, it's the most fun car I've ever driven, and still really enjoy it after more than 4 years of ownership.

        This car is fantastic and good or great in nearly ever measure one looks for in a car and vastly superior to anything else at its price-point (and I did shop around). To this day, if I were in the market at this very moment, I would be very hard-pressed to come up with an equal alternative, and would more than likely buy another MINI for lack of a better option.

        The only point I concede is that the back seats are not great for humans, but at least their ARE back seats. They are great to have for putting item on, and the car really would be impractical without them.

        Those who denounce the MINI as being mediocre, existing only for cuteness or some other popular ism are merely armchair critics who have no idea what they're talking about. You'll never find an actual MINI owner to agree with them, and with good reason.

        • 5 Years Ago
        wow what is up with autoblog comment systems today?

        Own a mini? Ever tried to put adults in the back? Building the A1 a little narrower than the Mini (
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like this car, I just wish that they would sell it for a lower price and it would be a winner. There's nothing that I don't like about it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks kind of like a C30 in the back.
      • 5 Years Ago
      read-X3 grade value. none.
        • 5 Years Ago
        doesn't it look like an evo 10 to anyone else?
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