I just got word that Car magazine has obtained the first official sketches of the so-called Mini-killer, the Audi A1. They write that these sketches have been “smuggled out of Audi’s design HQ”. The sketches show Audi’s tiny hatch in three-door trim, though a five-door, coupé and convertible are also planned.
After jealously eyeing five years of BMW success with the pricey Mini, Audi is undoubtedly interested in entering the B-premium segment (or super-Mini), a segment that has grown in appeal since the reincarnation of the Mini. The A1 aims to be a classy hatchback, with Audi’s typical design style and all of the “vorsprung durch technik” rhetoric.
Besides the A1 featuring the all-new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the sporty hatch will also be all-wheel drive, which was also engineered for an offroad version (the Q1) and for use by the S1 (in the first sketch), which could be a rival for the Cooper-S.
Audi has set very ambitious sales objectives, starting at 100 000 units in 2010 and ramping up to 190 000 units once the open-top and Q1 versions are in production. Reason for this is the price is a tad lower than a comparably equipped Mini, with the Audi retailing for $22 000 (about R160 000). No word on the official South African price or when it will hit our shores.