Audi-badged Volkswagen Up! rumours return

Long-standing rumours that Audi will produce its own version of the Volkswagen Up! have resurfaced following a report out of Germany.
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The suggestion that Audi would follow in the footsteps of the Volkswagen Up!, Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii in having its own sub-A1 city car based on the Volkswagen Group's New Small Family (NSF) platform has been around since 2008, and was further hinted at in 2011 with the Frankfurt unveiling of the Audi Urban concept.

They have been rekindled, however, by new comments from Audi CEO Rupert Stadler published by German publication Manager Magazin.

Der neue Volkswagen up! (Vier-Tuerer)

According to reports, Stadler said an Audi version of the Up! is part of a plan to boost global vehicle sales and additionally includes previously discussed models such as Q6 and Q8 crossovers as well as a compact van.

Accepting that investment into new models would temporarily lower profit margins for the next two years, with Stadler saying, "We will increasingly reap the reward starting in 2016."

The expansion plans are reportedly aimed at increasing Audi's sales to beyond two million vehicles by 2017/2018 and hitting 2.4 million by 2020.

The publication puts this figure behind the targets of BMW and Mercedes-Benz's parent company Daimler at 2.8 million and 2.6 million respectively.

The Volkswagen Up! is currently sold in Australia in three- and five-door guises from $13,990, powered by a 55kW/95Nm naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine tied to a five-speed manual transmission. A natural gas-powered model and the all-electric e-Up! production car are also set to follow in overseas markets.