Photos: Audi A1 – MINI’s Newest Competitor

Auto Shows | April 13th, 2010 by 21
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Judging by the latest sales numbers, Audi is clearly shaping up to become BMW’s biggest competitor in the premium cars segment, especially in Europe. So …

Judging by the latest sales numbers, Audi is clearly shaping up to become BMW’s biggest competitor in the premium cars segment, especially in Europe. So it comes with no surprise that the two companies are competing head-to-head in many segments. The last addition to the Audi family, the entry-level A1 model, is targeting the same customer demographic as BMW’s highly profitable MINI brand.

Audi labels the A1 as the first and only small premium car, but with many parts shared between the A1 and its “brothers” VW Polo and Seat Ibiza, one needs to wonder what is the message passed on by the Ingolstadt-based company.

Both cars are unmistakably appealing and while the MINI has the advantage of having behind a very loyal customer base, the Audi A1, on the other hand, brings to the table their latest design language and a larger appeal to the younger demographic.

Audi A1 Exterieur AMI 2010 14 655x491

Price wise, both models are competitive on the European market, the Audi A1 is priced at € 34,690, € 35,900 respectively for the MINI Cooper.

One area where the Audi usually shines is the interior design and quality of materials, but the A1 breaks this myth with plenty of plastic materials and hard plastic components. One can argue that it’s an entry level model that needs to be priced competitively and we can certainly agree with that statement.

Audi A1 Interieur AMI 2010 07 655x491

The exterior design remains one sensitive and subjective area, and to avoid any “fanboyism” labeling, we will use our right to stay silent on this. But one point to take home is that the two exterior design languages are essentially quite distinct and as we mentioned earlier, the Audi A1 caters to a younger demographic, more adventurous and fond of a flashier design, while on the other hand, the MINI features the same classy, yet appealing and intriguing design that made the British brand one of the best investments ever made by BMW.


[Photos by BimmerToday ]

21 responses to “Photos: Audi A1 – MINI’s Newest Competitor”

  1. Ansel says:


    • Simba says:

      for a girl and some one who cannot distinguish between premium quality and POLO, SEAT quality (probably also a girl)

  2. Bryce says:

    I love BMWs as much as the next guy on these boards, but I would definitely take that Audi over a Mini.

    • Doug says:

      I donno.. the mini has some character. This looks kind of…. it looks like a sub-compact with high-end work; the shape and decoration don’t seem to match. Plus, all the styling is in the nose, they could spread it around a bit.

      • Simba says:

        Well, Mini or Audi? I think most customers will choose Audi, no doubt. But that is one terribly cheap interior full of Polo grade plastics and black plastic deisng with minimal effort. I guess the Audi badge will do…. from the manufacturer of the R8! It’s like asking Mini or BMW.

        Take note again, a sub-premium product disguised as a premium product taking sales and possibly leading the premium market. What a sad day! I can honestly say that I know Mini has better quality and all, it uses BMW parts, but it will not be able to compete with the Audi A1 that uses VW (and not just any VW, the bottom of the range Polo and Seat) parts. And this is all because of the badge and exterior design.

        • Bryce says:

          You’re right, the interior looks awful, but I still think it will do better than the Mini. The problem I have with the Mini is that it looks essentially the same as it did in 2001. They keep revealing these cool Mini Concepts but only the Clubman has made it into production. If Audi makes this car I think it will do better than the Mini because the market is already saturated with Minis and BMW is doing nothing to freshen the Mini image!

  3. X7 says:

    i hate audi

    • Simba says:

      Well, don’t you just get irritated that they will always slot into segments that BMW is doing well in, copying and trying to take a chunk of the market and profits… X5, then X3, then 1 Series convertible, then 5GT concept, and now the Mini.

      It is a real shame that while BMw is self destructing their own products and brand image, Audi climbs higher with better perception with actually lower quality (A VW Polo badged as Audi with a nice exterior) – going to be selling better than a top quality exclusive Mini, that uses BMW parts. I can see this coming.

      • Mark says:

        Mini is so well targeted and marketed, BMW shouldn’t give a damn about the A1. The Mini isn’t just some discounted tiny car, it’s an individual, unique, one-of-a-kind experience. The A1 can never compete with the Mini BRAND. It’s just a small, cheap Audi.

  4. bob says:

    Re: BMW -v- Audi sales, as the A1 is a competitor to the MINI, future sales comparisons will have to be, BMW+MINI -v- Audi.

    Good Luck(!) to Audi if they think they can sell significantly more than 200K-250K A1s every year.

  5. efoza says:

    I was in Munich last week and I asked whether BMW worries about Audi. The answer was short and telling. It said: “No we never worry about VW cars”.

  6. Mark says:

    Lol… it’s an uglier A3. And look at that interior. Looks like something you find in a Geo Metro (look it up). Yuck.

  7. nazar says:

    i like bmw and mini, but i got to say that audi is stapping up to the game and the A1 looks great a lot better then bmw 1 ser

    • Simba says:

      The 1 is so much better looking than this, especially the sports package. This is for a teen girl (a lucky daughter)!

  8. viper says:

    they are the leaders in deign and beauty , bmw is light years behind

  9. Sam says:

    That stupid ugly Audi grill makes its way to the A1 as well. Yuck.

  10. quattroholic says:

    Audi grill is very aggressive i love it !

    • FreudeKing says:

      Of course you would think it is aggressive, this fish mouth is forever open! However, I do not find fish attractive, especially with a forever open mouth, not like you.

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