Report: Audi A1 Launch Countdown Starts Today With First Teaser Images

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

Audi has just launched a marketing campaign that will culminate at the Geneva Auto Show in March, when the German automaker officially introduces the world to the A1. Audi says its new A1 will be the first premium vehicle offered in the subcompact segment.

Ahead of the Geneva debut, Audi will reveal the car and the details of it online in early February. For now, we have a graffiti version of a design sketch, to give us an idea of where the project is headed. According to an Audi press-release the hatchback will have a coupe-like silhouette and use a great deal of the design from the original A1 Sportback Concept shown in Tokyo and Paris.

“Audi is renowned for taking a lot of features of its showcars into series production,” said Audi design boss, Stefan Sielaff. “The roof arch is a unique characteristic of the Tokyo showcar; there is a certain dynamism in the flow of the A- and C-pillars. An important detail for customization; that much I can tell you.”

Audi plans to make its new premium subcompact highly customizable – particularly with the interior.

It addition to the sketches, Sielaff says the A1 will get an tyical Audi grille, but expect it to be even wider, which will likely bring the headlights further to the side and closer to the hood.

As the A1 will most certainly be targeted at a younger demographic, Audi has also launched a new A1 Facebook fan page (www.facebook.com/audia1), a YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/audi), and a Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/audi_online).

We’ll be sure to bring you more info on the A1 as we get it and see if Audi has any plans to bring this new model to North America.

GALLERY: Audi A1 Design Sketches

Official release after the jump:

Design of the Tokyo and Paris show cars was a sign of things to come
• The subcompact car has Audi genes yet is highly individual
• New face: independence and premium for a new target group

Ingolstadt, December 14, 2009 – A new name, a new segment, a new car. Is there a
more fascinating challenge for a car designer? Bold and surprising design was what
the Audi team was aiming for in 2007 when it designed the A1 project quattro for
the Tokyo Motor Show and again in 2008 for the A1 Sportback concept for the Paris
Auto Show. Both studies are emotion-packed visions for a new, young target group
and the particular requirements of city driving, and have been systematically
refined ever since. The future is almost here: The countdown to the A1 is on.

The car is still a secret, yet Stefan Sielaff, Head of Design at AUDI AG, is already talking
about the future smallest model in the Audi family. “The new A1 has Audi design in its
genes. Like all Audi models, the ratio of greenhouse to body is between 1:3 and 2:3.
The front overhang is short, but the wheel wells are pronounced, giving the A1 a wide
road stance.”

The Audi design team has also come up with something special for the C-pillar.
The coupé-like silhouette of the A1 is clearly different from that of the A3. “Audi is
renowned for taking a lot of features of its showcars into series production. The roof
arch is a unique characteristic of the Tokyo showcar; there is a certain dynamism in the
flow of the A- and C-pillars. An important detail for customization; that much I can
tell you,” said Sielaff. There will be many ways to customize the A1 to your personal
ideas, especially in the interior.

The single-frame grille – a central Audi design feature – will identify the A1 as an Audi.
But there’s a surprise in store. “We’ll do something here, maybe with the corners and
the width of the grille,” says Sielaff. This will affect the headlights. But more on that in
January 2010.

Colum Wood
Colum Wood

With AutoGuide from its launch, Colum previously acted as Editor-in-Chief of Modified Luxury & Exotics magazine where he became a certifiable car snob driving supercars like the Koenigsegg CCX and racing down the autobahn in anything over 500 hp. He has won numerous automotive journalism awards including the Best Video Journalism Award in 2014 and 2015 from the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Colum founded Geared Content Studios, VerticalScope's in-house branded content division and works to find ways to integrate brands organically into content.

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