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Audi launches compact A1 at Geneva

Audi has officially unveiled the A1, alongside an electric counterpart, at the Geneva Motor Show.

The new three-door Audi will be positioned below the A3, Audi's current compact vehicle, and will be available from the fourth quarter of 2010. Accompanied by Justin Timberlake, Audi President Rupert Stadler unveiled the new vehicle to the media on the first press day of the show, which runs through March 14.

Based on the concept version revealed in 2007, the production A1 will be available in 1.2 and 1.4 liter gas or a 1.6 liter diesel engine. Using the 1.2 liter gas engine, the model can do 0-100 km/h in 12.1 seconds and deliver a 179 km/h top speed. Fuel efficiency will be 4.25 l/100km and emissions are quoted at 119g/km for the low-end model.

Audi describes its new model as "clever and communicative," offering a "rich multimedia experience" in the compact that is more commonly found in larger luxury cars. The 3D MMI navigation system that premiered on the new Audi A8 will be offered on the top-end models, as will a BOSE surround sound system and 20GB music player.

The base price of the A1 is expected to be around €16,000.

The Audi A1 e-tron concept is also on show, designed to offer a range of 250 km using a range-extended electric motor. The vehicle is set to be emission-free up to 50 km in city traffic, before using the range extender to offer a further 200 km with emissions of 1.9l/100km.

Website: http://www.audi.com