Audi top brass last night outlined plans for the 2010 launch of the new Audi A1 family, including a whole range of A1 hatchbacks and potentially A1 estates, convertibles and small 4x4s.
The Audi A1 will be positioned slap bang against BMW’s burgeoning Mini family when UK sales begin in autumn 2010, priced from around £11,000.
The new A1 three-door hatch will be unveiled first at the 2010 Geneva motor show, with continental sales kicking off next summer. Right hand drive markets follow a few months later in September 2010.
What will the new Audi A1 look like?
Almost exactly like the A1 concepts (the Metroproject Quattro and A1 Sportback), according to Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi AG board member for sales and marketing. ‘There is no substantial change to the concept car,’ he told CAR at last night’s launch of the world’s biggest Audi centre in west London.
We asked him about the prospect of further extensions to the A1 family and, for the first time on the record, he admitted a whole raft of A1s was in the pipeline.
‘We will start with the three-door version with several different engine variants,’ Schwarzenbauer told us. ‘Will we do further models? Look at what we do with the A3 range – we could do something similar with the A1.’
That points to a three-door A1 hatchback (based on the 2007 Metroproject concept), a five-door A1 Sportback (the eponymous 2008 concept), an A1 Convertible and an A1-based SUV to battle Mini’s forthcoming Crossover. No prizes for guessing that’ll be badged Q1.
It’s all part of Audi’s stated intent to expand its range from 32 model lines today to a whopping 42 by 2015. The A1 alone will add an extra 80,000 units a year in its first full year.
And what’s the world’s biggest Audi dealership like?
Err, huge! Arranged over seven floors beside the elevated section of the M4, it’s a citadel of aluminium and glass stretching out over 190,000sq ft and featuring a Auto Union Streamliner installation by Gerry Judah of Goodwood sculpture fame. The whole site has taken six years to build and cost Audi a whopping £45 million.
Like Mercedes’ Brooklands experience centre, the west London showroom is more of a destination than your typical dealer. There are chill-out rooms, a heritage section and space to display every one of Audi’s fast-growing range.
It's probably the most impressive dealership I've ever stepped foot in. But then at not far shy of £50m, so it should.