This is Audi’s latest concept car, the Metroproject Quattro, unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show this week.
But more importantly, it’s the basis for Ingolstadt’s forthcoming MINI rival, the A1.
Ignore the lack of B-pillar and the other glitzy concept touches, and this is pretty much the car we’ll see in Audi showrooms in 2009.
The concept is powered by a hybrid engine, consisting of a 150bhp 1.4 TFSI engine linked to an S-tronic (formerly DSG) gearbox to power the front wheels, and a 41bhp electric motor above the rear wheels.
The hybrid system’s lithium-ion battery can run the car on electric power only for around 60 miles, and with the petrol engine promises a combined mpg of 57.7 and CO2 emissions of just 112g/km.
The petrol and electric motors combined mean the car has, in effect, four-wheel drive.
The car’s low stance and twin exhausts add to the sporty intentions, as does a 0-62mph time of 7.8 seconds and a wheelbase of 2.46m – almost the same as that of the MINI.
The interior boasts a flat-bottomed steering wheel a la RS4 and R8, and a MINI-beating 240-litre boot.
Also unveiled was the Audi mobile device – a phone which can be used as a key to start the car, and view images of it from a security camera.