Audi VW up! rival coming

13 Nov, 2013 7:00am Luke Madden

Exclusive images show look of posh new Audi A0. City car based on VW up! could be on sale in 2015

Audi is working on its own version of the Volkswagen up!, Auto Express has learned. Our exclusive images show how the car might look, and it could arrive as soon as 2015.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has said he wants such a model by the second half of the decade. And should the new entry-level car get the green light, it would share most of its tech with the up!, SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo, while adding a distinctive look and a more premium interior.

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At present, the VW, SEAT and Skoda use the VW Group’s New Small Family (NSF) platform, and all are built at VW’s plant in Bratislava, Slovakia. The new Audi – which would sit below the A1 in the range and could be badged A0 – would sit on the same platform and be assembled on the same line.

However, to ensure the car could command a price premium over the up! – it’d be expected to start at £11,500 – it’ll get a look all of its own. This will include hi-tech headlamps and LED tail-lights, Audi’s trademark trapezoidal grille and a range of alloy wheel options.

There’d be an upmarket makeover inside, too, with a better-integrated infotainment system, leather trim and improved plastics to justify a higher price than the up!, which starts at £8,185.

Volkswagen up! review

The Audi would come with the 109bhp 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine that was used in the up! GT concept, rather than the 59bhp or 74bhp engines in the current cars.

And it would also give the aborted up! GT a chance to come to market – albeit not as a VW. The concept was a pet project of then VW R&D boss, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, who’s since moved to Audi to replace previous tech chief Wolfgang Durheimer.

In addition, the baby Audi is set to be offered with an all-electric drivetrain taken from the e-up! (hence the lack of tailpipes in our illustrations).

It could even get the VW XL1 diesel-electric hybrid set-up. As well as the new city car, Stadler is keen to add a small MPV and two new crossovers to the Audi line-up in the coming two years (see panel, right). This forms part of his bid to increase the brand’s global sales from 1,455,100 models in 2012 to two million units by 2018.

Volkswagen XL1 review

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Audi need to make more similar models, and make them look exactly the same :-)

I don't know how much market place is there for tarted up Up! It's a bit smaller but more practical competitor to Mini, Fiat 500 (and maybe Adam). All of those are "standalone" models - not a posh nose/tail grafted to econobox, and have a range with more engine choices.

More cash than sense buyers will love this "cause it proves I,m one up on Mi nabors , Pleaeeze what a joke this is

Audi are now just another Ford or Vauxhall. Too many of them around to be classed as premium or exclusive any more. The bland copycat style designs only add to this.

Surely it won't look like this? Audis may all look very similar, but they are very different to the VW/Seat/Skoda models they approximate to. They cant leave the side panels the same as the other models, it looks ridiculous.

it looks like up!.

As P.T. Barnum is supposed to have said "there's a sucker born every minute"!

I was hoping Audi will not do this but I was obviously hoping against hope. Removes every doubt that Audi is nothing but a glorified Skoda. Since they are going to do it any way, hope they give it a decent engine.

why all the hatred towards this model? As it has engine from upGT, so it has to have upgraded suspension and brakes, therefore price is justifyed.

Think of it more as special VW model :) 120bhp/t more than justifies price in my mind.

Hardly an 'UP!' rival when it is basically a badge engineered version of that car - something VW are very good at.

Still, it'll sell bucketloads to desperate UK drivers who want to have 4 rings on their driveway in some vain attempt at impressing their suburban neighbours, even if it means driving an overpriced Skoda Citigo

I've long said that the 3 series and A4 are just the modern day Cortina and Cavalier

This is a Photoshop, so only an approximation of what it could look like.

Even so, it looks OK to me and would slot in neatly at the bottom of the range.

Especially useful if you are a two-car family and the other one is a porky big Audi Q model, in which case this would be good as the runabout.

What is this?? What an ugly thing! Looks like Noddys car!!

Agreed, but I feel it's the same story with lower end Mercs and BMW's. If you want some exclusivity you are probably aswell going for a Vauxhall or Ford!

Audi is down to A0.
The next smaller car will be the A-1
This looks exacly like an Up! with an Audi grille. Truly a stunning engineering feat...

I want a 5dr city car with more than 86bhp to replace my sirion. I'd buy this 109 ps city car. The Up/mi/citigo have no oomph compared to my current city-car drive. If you're wondering why I want so much power, you obviously don't have to drive up the hills I have to :-)