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Audi begins A1 slow-release

Drawn out: Audi's graffiti teaser image of its new A1 sub-compact hatchback.

First premium light-car on the launch pad as Audi heralds A1 reveal campaign

17 Dec 2009

AUDI has started a drawn-out reveal campaign for its all-new A1, which is now confirmed to make its global public premiere at the Geneva motor show in March.

Before then, Audi will undertake a staggered internet launch program for what it claims will be the world’s first premium sub-compact car, which goes into production in early 2010 at the Volkswagen luxury brand’s plant in Brussels, Belgium.

Confirmed for Australian release around early 2011, the A1 will be aimed at a much younger, urban audience than previous Audi models, as evidenced by its official online reveal in February.

No new details were provided in yesterday’s release from Audi, which included an official teaser video that contained the first official sketch of the production A1, plus a short introductory web video by Audi chairman Rupert Stadler.

“The Audi brand represents a unique passion for cars,” he said. “A small bold idea can turn into something big. This is the case with the Audi A1.

“The countdown to the world premiere at the Geneva auto show in March 2010 begins today. See for yourself and get to know the Audi A1.”

7 center imageFrom top: Audi A1 'street art' teasers, five-door A1 Sportback concept and the three-door Metroproject Quattro concept (bottom).

The A1 was heralded by the 2005 Shooting Brake Concept, before the three-door Metroproject Quattro concept appeared at the 2007 Tokyo motor show and a five-door version dubbed the A1 Sportback concept study was revealed at Paris last year.

Aimed and priced directly at small luxury cars such as BMW’s Mini Cooper and Alfa Romeo’s new MiTo hatch, the A1 will be one of 42 models Audi plans to have in its range by 2015. Next in line for Australia is the A5 Sportback, due on sale here in January.

The A1 engine line-up is likely to echo that of Volkswagen’s new Polo, on which Audi’s smallest model will be based, so expect turbocharged 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrol engines, plus a version of VW’s supercharged and turbocharged 1.4 TSI engine.

The Ingolstadt maker yesterday said: “Audi will be the first manufacturer to offer a premium car in the subcompact segment when it launches the Audi A1. A young target group will experience new standards of quality, technology, and design.

“The waiting comes to an end in early February 2010 when the A1 celebrates its online premiere (end of secrecy). Until then, we’ll make the wait more tolerable by giving you a look through the keyhole.

“In the weeks ahead, Audi experts will be explaining characteristic details of design and production online before we show the first photos of the car.

“Following the online premiere we’ll throw the doors wide open and reveal the background behind the technology, driving dynamics and efficiency leading up to the Geneva motor show (March 2010).”

Audi has also launched specific A1 pages on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and the next instalment of its slow-release launch campaign will be a video statement by Audi sales and marketing chief Peter Schwarzenbauer on January 13.

That will be followed by internet presentations on the A1’s LED light design (January 15), shoulder line and colour-contrasting roofline (January 18), quality (January 21) and colour and trim, including the car’s Wasabi green colour scheme (January 25).

Other A1 web events will include question-and-answer sessions with Audi technical development manager Michael Dick (February 3), Audi head of design Stefan Sielaff (February 15) and Mr Stadler (February 22), before the A1’s Geneva show debut on March 2.

The official Audi A1 microsite can be found at: http://microsites.audi.com/a1onlinespecial/index.html#/locale=en_AU

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