Audi A1 meets the Audi 50: a reader spyshot

Published: 24 August 2010

CAR reader Joe Stanger was in Germany this summer, when he spotted the new Audi A1 on set with the last Audi supermini, the 50 that went on to sire the VW Polo.

Sounds like he unintentionally stumbled upon the global media launch of the Audi A1, which was hosted in Berlin, Germany.

'These photos were taken in Berlin at the end of June or start of July,' he tells us. 'The camera crew were filming and taking photos of the new Audi A1 and the Audi 50. They were taken not too far from the Reichstag.'

Shows you how far Audi has come stylistically. And yet at the same time, how little has changed: the new A1 is, after all, still related to its bigger-selling Volkswagen cousin.

Audi 50: a potted history

The Audi 50 was conceived by Ingolstadt's head of engineering Ludwig Klaus, who believed Audi needed an entry-level model at the height of the energy crisis of the 1970s. The NSU cars had ceased production, so the 50 project was born.

It was never imported to the UK and remained a Europe-only, left-hand drive model. The press launch was held in the summer of 1974 on Sardinia, and the launch engine was a 50hp 1100cc.

However, the group decided that the car worked better as a VW and Ingolstadt went on to engineer the 50 into the VW Polo. The 50 stopped production in 1978, after 180,000 were built. Joe caught one of the better examples on test in Germany.

Reader's article

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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