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* First premium car in subcompact segment available from EUR 15,800
* Sales chief Schwarzenbauer: "Orders could exceed production capacity this year"
* Average of 100,000 units per year planned

Audi opened its order books. Prospective buyers throughout Europe can now order the new A1 at their Audi dealer. The A1 will be available from a starting price of EUR 15,800. It will initially go on sale in two engine versions - and with a particularly extensive range of customization options.

The new model marks Audi's first venture into the compact car segment, with the A1 aimed at a completely new target group. Over 103,000 prospective customers have already signed up to be notified when advance sales of the A1 start. Also the facebook-fanpage already has more than 20,000 A1-fans. 90 percent of those prospective buyers have never before owned an Audi.

"I have never before witnessed such a high level of interest in a new model even before the start of advance sales," remarked Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG. "Judging by the high level of demand, orders this year could well exceed our production capacity."

50,000 units of the Audi A1 are scheduled to be built at the Brussels plant by the end of 2010. Next year, the manufacturer is planning to deliver around 80,000 units of the A1 to customers; ultimately, the annual target on average is 100,000 units.

The new A1 seeks to win over its youthful target group with sporty design, high road performance coupled with low fuel consumption, and compact dimensions that make it ideal for city use. The model aims to redefine the benchmark for efficiency with its direct injection and start-stop system with braking energy recovery. Audi is launching the model in two attractive engine versions, the 1.4 TFSI and the 1.6 TDI. The manufacturer will also shortly be putting the ultra-economical 1.2 TFSI on sale. The exceptionally large number of customization options available for a model in this segment will enable the young target group to configure their own personal A1. The color and material of a wide range of elements can be chosen to suit the individual buyer's style. The distinctive curved roof, too, can be ordered in a variety of colors. A1 enthusiasts have so far posted 28,000 design versions of the new Audi on the model's website.

Production of the Audi A1 starts on May 11 with a grand ceremony at the Audi Brussels plant. Following the official start of production, the new car will be built at the rate of 500 per day over two shifts at the Brussels plant.

Audi fans will find further information about the new A1, the A1 Customizer for configuring the user's own A1 design and the six-part episode film "The next big thing" featuring Justin Timberlake at http://www.audi.de/a1.
 
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