February 19, 2010  ·  design  ·  tech

Audi A1: So close, and yet...

Regular readers know that we like European compact cars around here; the challenge of cramming sport, efficiency, utility and affordability into a small package seems to bring out the best in top designers. Last week Audi rolled out its long-awaited A1, designed to compete with rival BMW's Mini, and we're all kind of stunned that it won't be offered with quattro all-wheel-drive. Audi had a chance here to do something completely unique to the segment by offering its signature feature, but instead left the car to compete on looks alone. And it looks OK, but there's nothing compelling one to choose it over the Mini or the Fiat 500 or (if you live in a civilized part of the world) the magnificent Alfa Romeo MITO.

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