- Design of the Tokyo and Paris show cars was a sign of things to come
- The subcompact car has Audi genes yet is highly individual
- New face: independence and premium for a new target group
A new name, a new segment, a new car. Is there a more fascinating challenge for a car designer? Bold and surprising design was what the Audi team was aiming for in 2007 when it designed the A1 project quattro for the Tokyo Motor Show and again in 2008 for the A1 Sportback concept for the Paris Auto Show. Both studies are emotion-packed visions for a new, young target group and the particular requirements of city driving, and have been systematically refined ever since. The future is almost here: The countdown to the A1 is on.
The car is still a secret, yet Stefan Sielaff, Head of Design at AUDI AG, is already talking about the future smallest model in the Audi family. "The new A1 has Audi design in its genes. Like all Audi models, the ratio of greenhouse to body is between 1:3 and 2:3. The front overhang is short, but the wheel wells are pronounced, giving the A1 a wide road stance."
The Audi design team has also come up with something special for the C-pillar. The coupé-like silhouette of the A1 is clearly different from that of the A3. "Audi is renowned for taking a lot of features of its showcars into series production. The roof arch is a unique characteristic of the Tokyo showcar; there is a certain dynamism in the flow of the A- and C-pillars. An important detail for customization; that much I can tell you," said Sielaff. There will be many ways to customize the A1 to your personal ideas, especially in the interior.
The single-frame grille - a central Audi design feature - will identify the A1 as an Audi. But there's a surprise in store. "We'll do something here, maybe with the corners and the width of the grille," says Sielaff. This will affect the headlights. But more on that in January 2010.