Audi wants a small car for the US market to take on the MINI Cooper

Article by Christian A., on January 22, 2013

Audi is thinking about creating a small car for the U.S. market that has the same size as a Mini, according to a report from Edmunds. In a recent interview, Scott Keogh, Audi of America president, said that the company is focused on the redesigned Audi A1, which is scheduled to start selling in Europe in around four years. Keogh said that the company sees a prime opportunity based on the change in demographics as well as the CAFÉ standards, among other things.

He said that the company will make an in-depth examination of the second generation of the car. CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) refers to a broad range of U.S fuel economy regulations that all car companies would need to comply with. Specifically, automakers have to raise the combined fuel economy of their vehicles by 4% each year through 2025.

He also said that a shift in the U.S. population will increase the demand for small luxury cars. He believes that the U.S. is “urbanizing dramatically.” He added that plenty of rich people are going back to the cities so they will be viewing smaller car concepts. The present-generation A1 is a high-selling, well-reviewed hatchback offered in Europe. The three-door model started selling in late 2010 while the five-door Sportback was added in late 2011.

This car is mainly targeted at young and wealthy urban buyers. Keogh said that the redesigned five-door model intended for the U.S. market will arrive around 2017 if it gets the green light. The present generation A1 five-door hatchback has a length of 155.6 inches. Meanwhile, the five-door Mini Countryman is 161.3 inches long. On the other hand, the 2013 Ford Focus five-door hatchback is 171.6 inches long.

The new Audi A1 is provided with a powerful yet characteristic road stance. Thus, for customers looking for a supermini that combines sportiness with luxury, the new A1 would be a great proposition.

Its compact nature is greatly defined by its dimensions. It measures 3.95 meters (12.96 feet) in length, 1.74 meters (5.71 feet) in width and 1.42 meters (4.66 feet) in height. The new Audi A1 has a wheelbase of 2.47 meters (8.10 feet), as complemented by short overhangs. Its profile, meanwhile, is distinguished by its pronounced shoulder line, its color-contrasted roof arch as well as its sharply sloping C-pillars.

As expected, the new Audi A1 closely follows the brand's design language -- bold and progressive yet emotional. Moreover, the new A1 continues the Audi tradition of adopting ideas and features from concept cars. In fact, the new A1 adopts a number of elements from the 2007 Audi A1 project quattro concept car.

While the front end of the new A1 comes with features that are typically Audi, it also comes with several distinct accents that allow the new model to stand out from its cousins. For instance, its single-frame grille – now integrated into the front end – has angled top corners that have been re-interpreted with the new A1. The single-frame grille features horizontally arranged braces that help highlight the width of the front end. This design is complemented by large air intakes with horizontal bars. The fog lights of the new A1 are located on the outer corners of the intakes.

Flanking the grille are 3D styled headlights, which interior features curved wing structures. The new Audi A1 also comes with the daytime running lights as standard.

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