The Audi A1 three-door and five-door Sportback are very well placed in the supermini premium segment as only the MINI is a real contender for the Ingolstadt city car. However, that might change in the following years as Mercedes-Benz could be working on a model for this segment. It won’t wear the tri-star logo as the model will be badged as a Smart.
Obviously, it would be slightly larger than the upcoming all-new Smart ForTwo and ForFour and could see the light of day later this decade since Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche believes the company has what it takes to develop a subcompact model that would turn out to be profitable.
There were some rumors last year about a potential X-Class model badged as a Mercedes-Benz to slot below the current entry-level A-Class but needless to say the plans didn’t materialize. That car was supposed to adopt a front-wheel drive layout and cost less than 20,000 euros and was allegedly envisioned as a model positioned between the Smart and the A-Class competing with the Audi A1 and MINI.
The same report said something about Mercedes-Benz’s plan to work with the Renault Nissan alliance to create an entire family of X-Class model, with the first two aiming for annual sales between 100,000 and 150,000 units.
Until then, Audi is putting the finishing touches on a mild facelift for the entire A1 family which will see the light of day in the second half of the year.