There were many rumors about the Audi Shooting Brake concept going into production. Early information showed that it was supposed to be placed above the TT as a sportier model. Updated sources, though point that the new car will be a sub-compact, positioned under the A3 and intended as the cheapest Audi in the line-up. It will be most likely called A1 and is expected for launch in 2009.
There is currently known that Audi has in development a sub-compact vehicle Based on the Golf IV PQ34 platform. The new model, which will be most likely called A1, is the successor of the discontinued A2.
The A1 will not be a lot smaller than the A3, but it will consistently cheaper with prices ranging between $16,000-20,000. The cost reduction can be achieved due to the use of the VW Golf IV platform with a semi-rigid rear axle, a lot cheaper than the multi-link. In addition, the body will be made from steel, not aluminum, as used in the A2, further reducing production costs.
Some think that the A1 will also be available with Audi’s ‘quattro’ 4WD. We do not think that that is going to happen as this type of transmission is quite expensive and. therefore not suitable for a low budget car. The Syncro cheap 4WD system used on the Golf III cannot be used because it excludes the ESP and therefore cannot meet modern safety standards.
The engines available for the A1 should be those from the TDI and FSI ranges. TSI and TFSI are expensive and performance orientated, which makes them less likely to be offered for the new Audi base model.
Audi official sketch
The design will be inspired by that of the 2005 Audi Shooting Brake concept, especially in the rear. Two or four doors will be offered for passenger access plus an extra door for the generously sized trunk. The general look of the car will be a sporty and dynamic one, a match for the already announced competitor, the Volvo C30.
To prove its Audi genes, the A1 will feature the single-frame front grille, a dynamic sideline, large size tires, short consoles and small side windows.Besides the hatchback, a roadster and a cabriolet are also considered to expand the A1 range.
The A1 sedan is expected to be launched at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, and the convertibles should first be shown in 2010. Still for cost reduction purposes, the location where the A1 will be built is likely to be outside . The most suitable location seems to be the Gyor production facility in Hungary.
The car that has previewed the future A1 in terms of design was the Audi Shooting Brake Concept presented at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show. That study vehicle offered a further interpretation of Audi’s current formal idiom, blending the powerful dynamism of a sports car with a new sense of spaciousness and greater functionality. With its powerful 250 bhp, six-cylinder engine and quattro permanent four-wheel drive, the Shooting Brake Concept was intended as a faster and more practical alternative to the TT. The Shooting Brake Concept will not make it into production as previously designed and intended, but many designed elements from this car will be featured on the A1.
As is typical of every Audi study car, in addition to its design qualities the Shooting Brake Concept featured a raft of technical innovations for Tokyo. These included the adaptive damping system Audi magnetic ride, an evolutionary version of navigation system plus with touch screen monitor and character recognition, and the new LED headlight technology.
The Audi Shooting Brake Concept represented an entirely new departure in design terms. The styling of this coupe is unequivocally as a paragon of the latest Audi design, yet countless innovative elements demonstrate how this repository of shapes has taken a decisive evolutionary leap forward.
Even when seen in the rearview mirror, the Shooting Brake Concept reveals at first glance a front end that is characterized by the striking single-frame radiator grille with dominant horizontal slats in chrome. As on the Audi Le Mans quattro super sports car study, the four-ring brand emblem is located above the single-frame grille, the surface of which is not interrupted by the license plate surround, either.
The tapered shape at the front – further accentuated by prominent air inlets at the sides – and the dynamic cut of the clear-glass headlights give the face its decidedly forceful, dynamic character. A presence that echoes the characteristic front-end design of the current A4 racing models in the DTM and refines the visionary Audi RSQ study. A further element adopted from motor sport, beneath the grille, is the aluminum diffuser, which guides the airflow beneath the car with precision.
The interior design of the Audi Shooting Brake Concept exudes a decidedly sporty flair. This impression is conveyed by the low seat position, in typical sports car style, the high centre console and the clear, expansive composition of the instrument panel. The short sports-style gear lever with its tactile knob, together with the wide armrests in the doors and the pedals with aluminum-rubber surface, combine form and function with unprecedented ergonomic perfection.
The attractive appearance of the interior surfaces and of each individual detail is the result of select material quality and a perfect finish of the highest standard.
The large, clearly structured surfaces of the instrument panel, roof and door trims are clad in high-tech synthetic materials. The two grey shades and the surface structures provide a contrasting look and feel. On the other hand, the surface of the centre console, the inside door handles and the surrounds on the air outlets, like the body itself, have an "Electric White" pearl-effect finish.
The main competitor for the new Audi A1 will be the recently announced baby Volvo, the C30. It features a sporty design, two doors, four individual seats, and a glass tailgate that give it a unique appearance. The production Volvo C30 will be unveiled for the public at the Paris Motor Show in September, and it will be available in the showrooms at the end of 2006.
"The new C30 is a cool car. A car that aims for a group of young singles, or couples, with an intense urban lifestyle. These people prioritize excitement in design and driving characteristics, and this car is designed to suit their taste and lifestyle," says Fredrik Arp, President and CEO of Volvo Cars.
The volume target is 65,000 cars per year. Volvo expects that 75 percent of the buyers will be in Europe and the largest markets are , , and .
The design of the production-ready model is in tune with the Volvo C30 Design Concept, which was presented at the Detroit Motor Show at the beginning of the year.
The front retains its dynamic character, with the angled headlamps and the low, wide grille.
Viewed from the side, the distinct wheel housings and sloping roof give the new C30 a fast silhouette, which is further enhanced by the extreme boat-shape of the side windows.
The shoulders at the rear are powerfully rounded and are accentuated by the horseshoe shaped lighting pattern of the tail lamps, and the glass tailgate. The spoiler at the upper edge of the tailgate is available in two different versions.
"The C30 has plenty of muscles in a sporty and compact package. Anyone who recalls the Volvo SCC (Safety Concept Car) will recognize the exclusive and convenient rear tailgate. The distinctive tail lamps ensure that no one will be uncertain about which car they have in front," says Volvo Car’s Design Director
The new C30 has room for four adults thanks to the two separate rear seats with generous head and legroom. The rear seats are slightly centered to provide a feeling of space and a good forward view.
The space between the seats also makes the thin, visually floating centre stack clearly visible through the glass tailgate.
The interior program has been designed to meet the target group’s taste for personal choices. Even the base program offers, for example, upholstery in three attractive colors.
"The C30 is about "customized functionality". There are a lot of possibilities for personalization and the car has all the right and cleverly designed solutions that the people who choose this type of car want," says Håkan Abrahamsson, who heads the C30 project.
Click here to read our full 2007 Volvo C30 preview.