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Audi at the Paris motor show 2008

Thu, 02 Oct 2008

By Ben Whitworth

Motor Shows

02 October 2008 16:52

Audi’s sparkling new A1 Sportback – a thinly camouflaged version of its 2010 A1 Mini-basher – as well as its frugal A4 Concept E and a rather large trophy were the highlights of Ingolstadt’s Parisian offerings this year.

In essence this follows on from the Metroproject that Audi unveiled last year. Slightly bigger in five-door guise than the Mini, Audi is keen to play on the A1’s practicality as well as its aspirational qualities. There was the usual showcar frippery – lashings of chrome and some nifty but useless split rear windows – but peel all that away and you have Audi’s new baby.

As well as the three- and five-door models, Audi is also considering a soft-top version. A hot 200bhp S1 is a given, as are a raft of Audi’s cleanest and punchiest direct-injection turbo petrol and diesel engines. Expect mild hybrids to arrive in 2011.

Audi flashed its environmental credentials with its A4 Concept E – worthy, futuristic and laudable, but nowhere near as exciting as Audi being presented by the Le Mans 24 Hours organisers a giant trophy to keep – which is what happens when you win the world’s hardest race three times in succession.

While the A1 is bound to be a sales success – how can an Audi version of a Mini not be? – and the eco A4 mighty impressive, it’s all overshadowed by the Audi’s motorsport record. Tom Kristensen, Dindo Capello and Allan McNish – we salute you!

CAR's Audi stand score: 4/5


Click here for up to the minute Paris motor show 2008 live reports

Click here for the previews and review: Guide to all cars


By Ben Whitworth