A1 to hit Europe, still no plans for U.S.

Posted on Sunday, 23 May 2010 , 10:05:13 byAlina

Filed under a1europeusunited-statesplanhitAudi

A1 to hit Europe, still no plans for U.S.

Audi still has no plans to bring its A1 subcompact model to North America. Initial production for Europe was scheduled to be 50,000 units, but Audi may look at upping that number thanks to overwhelming demand.

After the Germans used Justin Timberlake to promote the car, the A1 was initially believed to help Audi step into the US small class segment. A potential launch of the A1 might be possible, but only at a later date, said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi's global sales and marketing boss.

"I'm not so sure yet we really see a trend to small cars in the United States," he said at that time.

Audiís hesitance to bring the A1 to North America is due to its size. The car is 155.5 inches long and 55.9 inches tall, about 10 inches longer and 1/2 inch taller than the Mini Cooper.

Audi A1 will be offered in Europe with two diesel and two gasoline engines all direct fuel injected and turbocharged: entry-level 1.2 TFSI (86 hp/160 Nm), 1.4 TFSI (122 hp/200 Nm), 1.6 TDI (105 hp/250 Nm) and another version of the 1.6 TDI (90 hp/230 Nm), mated to an optional seven-speed automatic transmission in the front-drive car.

Audi developed the little A1 to give it a premium small car to compete with the likes of BMW's Mini Coope and Fiat's Alfa Romeo MiTo. Audi hopes to build 80,000 A1s in 2011 and 100,000 a year after that.

A1 goes on sale in Europe this summer with prices starting at 15,800 euros (about $19,620 at current exchange rates). That's about 1,000 euros less than the Mini and MiTo.