Expect the minicar segment is to explode, with new models planned from most major carmakers including, for the first time, premium labels such as Audi. While most will be budget versions Audi will be launching an upmarket model aimed at the Mini Cooper and a possible BMW version.
Audi’s new model will be based on the A1 Metroproject and subsequent A1 Sportback concept vehicles, and will be available in several variants including three and five-door hatchbacks, a sleek sportback and possibly a cabrio.
This latest rendering gives us an accurate look at what to expect for the entry-level three-door hatch, revealing designers will be sticking to the lines of the concept car. Some of the elements from the show cars that are unlikely to make production include the exposed aluminum arches, 18in alloys and LED headlights.
The A1 will share its platform with the new 2010 Volkswagen Polo and will be available as standard with FWD, though there will be performance models with quattro AWD. The new platform also means the A1 will be available with VW Group’s new low-cost DSG with seven gears in total.
Engine options will range from a series of low capacity TSI and TDI units ranging from 1.4 to 2.0L, and a new mild hybrid model may also be offered. The design will use a small electric motor integrated into the drivetrain, which kicks in during high-load situations. The full hybrid system with lithium-ion batteries as previewed by the Metroproject Concept is unlikely to enter production.
The five-door model should debut around the middle of next year and will be followed by the three-door shortly after.