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Audi A1 (2010): first spy photos of Audi’s Mini

By Tim Pollard (photos Press-Inform)

Spy shots

16 October 2009 14:09

The new Audi A1 has stepped out in public for the first time and CAR’s spies were on hand to capture the moment. This three-door Audi A1 is a near production-ready car and, despite the hallucinogenic disguise in our spyshots, it’s clear to see the silhouette and outline of Audi’s new Mini rival. 

The 2010 Audi A1 will be shown at next spring’s Geneva motor show, with first drives held over the summer. Continental sales start in the middle of 2010, right-hand drive A1 sales most likely kicking off in September.

Great scoop! Where were these Audi A1 spy photos taken?

On the streets around Munich, Germany, not far from Audi’s Ingolstadt HQ. The spyshots confirm the A1 will be launched initially as a three-door hatchback, like the Mini. A five-door hatch, probably dubbed Sportback like the concept car, will follow. These first scoop photos prove that Audi has deviated little from the A1-siring Metroproject Quattro concept car.

Unlike the original lightweight Audi A2 which pioneered the use of aluminium and other clever technologies previously unseen on volume small cars, the new 2010 A1 will be a more conventional supermini.

Conventional in the sense that it will stick with steel construction and a transverse engine, front-drive format – for now (4wd quattro versions are rumoured for future faster A1s). The A2 was clever, but it was also costly – and Audi plans to build 80,000 A1s annually in a full year’s production.

So is the new Audi A1 just a posh Polo?

Depends how you slice the pie. For sure, there will be some componentry shared with other VW Group small cars such as the Polo, Ibiza and Fabia, but Audi is keen to stress that the days of old-fashioned ‘platform sharing’ are long gone.

The new A1 will be significantly different to its group brethren: in dimensions, in its footprint and in the wide range of engines and technologies invested in the range. Although not yet confirmed, we expect the Audi A1 to launch with a range of 1.4 petrol and diesel engines.

From these spy photos, we’d say the new Audi A1 looks rather promising. The urban chatterati will soon have another premium baby to lust after.