Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Audi's answer to the Mini Cooper

Based on the VW Golf/Rabbit/Audi TT platform, the 2010 Audi A1 "supermini coupe" will reportedly debut as a 2010 model. As gas prices continue rising, no doubt this segment will find more and more buyers in the US.

While this concept is probably not a good idea, as it will likely cannibalize sales from Audi's owner, Volkswagen, its hard to deny the merits of this unique and striking design.

This begs the question: why make this an Audi and not a VW? It should probably be a VW, not an Audi. No doubt it is an Audi to compete with with BMW's upcoming 1-Series and Mini Cooper.

But it won't compete with the 1-Series. Word is, due to its price point target, the A1 will likely be a front-driver and will not be offered with Audi's Quattro or the less expensive Volkswagen Synchro system.

All Audi's should offer Quattro as an option, especially if Audi expects this unit to compete with the 1-Series, whose rear-wheel drive will offer inherently better handling than any front-wheel drive Audi. Without Quattro, this model will dilute the brand.

Has Audi out-Mini'd the Mini?

That's probably a better question, as the Mini is also a front-driver. Time will tell.

More pictures here.

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