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Rumor: Audi Planning Ultra-Compact City Car


Rumors out of Georg Kacher (via Automobile Magazine) are that Audi is readying an ultra compact city car to slot below the Audi A1. Arguably, such a car would possibly be the modern successor to the ahead-of-its-time Audi A2, but where it fits within Audi’s naming structure remains to be seen.

It’s important to note the differences between the Audi A2 and the A1. The former and predecessor was Audi’s first foray into the smaller compact car segment since the initial Audi 50 launched back in the 1950s and later turned into the Volkswagen Polo. The A2 shared the transverse engine architecture and some engines of its own generation VW Polo and Lupo offerings, but its aluminum space frame (ASF) architecture made it lighter, state-of-the-art and prohibitively more expensive.

The A1, in comparison, is based on the same PQ25 architecture as the current Polo, though boasts its own unique design and exclusive access to quattro all-wheel drive via Haldex hardware. From a cost perspective, the A1 is more in line with the rest of the market and offers a competitive step into the Audi brand on the low end… at least for Europe.

More recently, Audi did consider building an A2 on the NSF architecture used by the Volkswagen Up!, but it failed to pass muster internally. Apparently though, that didn’t stop the idea and another car has been readied for tentative reveal at the Paris Motor Show in 2016.

According to the Kacher report, Audi had prepared a 200 hp 1.2-liter longitudinal V-twin engine from the Ducati 1199 Panigale. Additionally, Ducati was said to get a stripped-down sports car based on this and not entirely unlike the KTM x-bow. Unfortunately, this is said to have been a Ferdinand Piëch approved project and, with the iconic German executive/engineer now exiting stage right, its future remains unclear.

Kacher theorizes that Audi could join with brand siblings to further fund an MQB-based equivalent that would likely use more common Volkswagen Group car engines. Given the Audi A1 will also migrate to MQB in its next generation, this is likely the more cost-effective option. Electric versions are also being considered and we can’t forget that 1.0-TFSI shown by Volkswagen weeks ago at the Vienna Motor Symposium.

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