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An Audi ‘A0’ city car remains a possibility for the Ingolstadt brand as a new range-opener, according to the company’s board member for technical development Ulrich Hackenberg.

Always keen to expand into new segments — the TT Q crossover and Q8 being two forthcoming examples — the company also sees potential for what would become a rival for Mercedes-Benz’s Smart brand.

Speaking at the Geneva motor show this week, Hackenberg hinted it was something the company was working on, though potentially only in concept guise as a toe-in-the-water exercise similar to what Lexus did with the 3.4-metre long LF-SA this week at the Swiss show.

“Smaller cars are price sensible but I’m convinced if you have a big volume of small cars then you also have possibilities to create premium,” he said.

It was made clear that the ‘smaller’ cars in question were smaller than an A1 (pictured below).

Audi A1 Sportback

That said, Hackenberg added such a vehicle was not a top priority, though didn’t rule out something going on show soon, either in production form or otherwise.

“We are very wide… there are a lot of exhibitions, so maybe we have something,” he said.

Earlier in the conversation when referring to the T Q crossover, Hackenberg said: “We want to grow and we want to increase our volume and to do that we need additional model lines”.

This thinking leaves little doubt that all niches will be investigated.

Asked if an A0 would be based on the Volkswagen Up! platform — an obvious, amortised cost — Hackenberg said the company would have to hypothetically find a way to make its offering suitably premium while offering an appropriate price for its size.

“If we do this actually we need a premium constellation, premium engine and performance and so on,” he said. In his time at Volkswagen Hackenberg led development of the Up!, so he’d know of its potential better than anyone.

Still, an Audi rival to the Smart range would be interesting, and would definitely give it incremental volume. No German rival has an A1 equivalent, so it already has experience at making the low end work.

What do you think of the idea of an Audi supermini? Tell us in the comments section below.




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