Despite the burgeoning popularity of small cars, especially with premium nameplates, Audi doesn't think there's a case for bringing its MINI-sized A1 to the United States. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler acknowledges that American customers are increasingly interested in fuel efficiency
, but also contends that we want that frugality wrapped in larger sheetmetal than customers elsewhere might go with. In the interest of greener numbers, Audi's planning on going electric, launching an armature-motivated car around 2010, roughly the same due date as a Volkswagen electron-mobile. No decision has yet been made about a plant in North America, but that might reduce costs enough for attractive pricing to facilitate Audi's target of selling 1.5 million annual units by 2015. Without the A1, we're going to be forced to continue drooling all over the Alfa MiTo's
roundy-round front fenders.