Don’t get confused by the Volkswagen logo and the look of a tuned Polo; under this disguise is an early prototype of Audi’s forthcoming Mini-rivalling A1. The A1 will be unveiled in a concept version next month at the Tokyo Motor Show, and the production version will go on sale in 2009.

The A1 will share its underpinning with the next A3, due in 2010, and a number of other small VAG products. The platform is called MQB, which means modular transverse matrix. It’s designed from the start to be cheaper to build and more flexible.

Audi will offer four different versions: three-door hatch, five-door hatch, coupe and convertible.

Base models will be front-wheel drive, but as part of Audi’s green push all engines will be direct injection. The same 1.4-litre engine will be available with and without a turbo, and with outputs from 65 to 170bhp. A 1.6-litre diesel will play the same role for those who want an oil burner: expect 75 to 130bhp.

Source: CarMagazine

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