The minicar segment is about to explode, with new models planned from most of the major carmakers including, for the first time, premium labels such as Audi, which is planning to launch the new A1 hatch in 2009. A concept version of the car will be displayed at next monthʼs Tokyo Motor Show complete with a hybrid drivetrain. These new renderings give us an accurate look at what to expect, revealing designers are going with conventional hatchback styling and Audiʼs familiar oversized grille.
The A1 wonʼt be a niche model. Audi management is hoping to sell more than 100,000 units per year and will likely add a ʼshooting brakeʼ mini-estate and cabrio to its lineup. Audi is also rumored to be working on a mini SUV labeled the Q1, which you can see a preview of by clicking here. In addition to the mild hybrid version, Audi will also build cars equipped with more conventional TSI and FSI petrol engines as well as its frugal TDI diesels displacing 1.4 and 1.6L.
The car will be built on a new platform that will also spawn the next-gen VW Polo as well as allow engineers to add quattro AWD for a low-volume performance model. The new platform also means engineers may add a new low cost dual-clutch transmission with seven gears in total. Unlike the production version of the VW up! concept, the Audi A1 wonʼt be cheap and is expected to have a price tag of around ?20,000. By contrast, VWʼs minicar is expected to cost close to ?8,000.
Preview: 2010 Audi A1 hatch and cabrio
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