For those residing in Europe, the Audi A1, with a base price of 15,800 euros ($20,100 U.S. at the current exchange rate) is now appearing on showroom floors. But for the rest of us, the likelihood of an A1 sighting had seemed slim. That is, until Audi sales chief, Peter Schwarzenbauer, said that Volkswagen's Audi luxury brand will begin to offer its compact, fuel-efficient A1 on a global level (excluding the U.S. and China – and what's "global" about that?) beginning next year.
The A1, originally destined to be a Europe-only offering, has now attracted more than 150,000 interested customers worldwide. In response, Audi will ramp up A1 production by 20 percent as it looks to dethrone BMW as the world's largest producer of luxury cars. The compact A1, when fitted with the smallest of its three engine offerings, returns more than 40 miles per gallon. Regretfully, this generation of Audi's efficient hatch won't appear in the U.S., but the company suggests that it could be made available in China "at short notice." Now, rather than lash out at Audi for its failure to bring the A1 to the U.S., we suggest that you take a look at the BMW 1-Series instead. It's apparently what Audi wants you to do.