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We Hear: Model Below Audi A1 Not Happening After All

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/30/2014 Alex Nishimoto

We previously reported that there might be room for a subcompact Audi model below the A1, but a new report from Car magazine says a four-ring-badged car based on the Volkswagen Up! isn't likely to happen after all.

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Speaking to Car in Beijing, Audi's chairman of the board and CEO Rupert Stadler said, "There is no need for a car [below A1 in the range]. We are quite happy with A1. It sells 120,000 units, and has a high degree of equipment and accessories, so [profit margins] are quite good." Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI© Provided by MotorTrend Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI

That seems to be a complete 180 from Stadler's position late last year, when we first heard about the possibility of a sub-A1 model. That car was said to be called the A0, an would be based on the Up!'s NSF platform and powered by a 1.0-liter I-3 similar to that of its VW platform-mate. The model would likely get a fancier interior with upgraded plastics, but even if it were to be produced, wafer-thin profit margins would keep it from being imported to the U.S. anyway. 2012 Volkswagen Up Red Front Three Quarter© Provided by MotorTrend 2012 Volkswagen Up Red Front Three Quarter

Stadler also commented on a future flagship model for the Audi brand. While you might think a stretched sedan, possibly slotting above the A8, would fit the bill, Stadler expects the upcoming Q9 super-SUV to fill that role. However, the executive said that Audi won't necessarily follow its competitors, including the Range Rover long wheelbase, recently announced BMW X7, and upcoming SUV models from Bentley and Lamborghini.

"If we do [a Q9], it will not be because of what our rivals are doing," Stadler said.

The Audi boss also confirmed that the model would be available in an e-tron plug-in variant, joining the A3 and other models expected to get hybrid drivetrains in the coming years.

Source: Car

Volkswagen Up Front View In Motion© Provided by MotorTrend Volkswagen Up Front View In Motion
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