While the recent currency crisis and rise in raw material prices have seen some carmakers become less profitable, Audi has managed to maintain strong growth and earned itself a record profit of $4.48 billion for the last financial year. In fact, since 1995 Audi has consistently posted consecutive record profit levels thanks to a series of new and innovative models, which has allowed it to overtake closest rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz in terms of profitability.

Audi isn't gloating about this success though, and is already planning strategies to maintain the record profit levels. One of the major goals is to increase Audi's model range from 25 cars today to more than 40 vehicles in the next ten years. This will also help Audi reach its target of doubling sales in the U.S. and China, Reuters reports.

The new models are likely to focus on efficiency as consumer demand shifts to more economical cars - Audi plans to achieve this through smaller engines, stop-start technology, lighter cars, improved aerodynamics and other such techniques rather than installing expensive hybrid drivetrains.

One of the cars will be the new A1 model, which will be smaller than the A3 and based on last year’s Metroproject concept car. While consumer reaction to the A3 in the U.S has been less than ideal, the recent shift in consumer preference to smaller more economical cars will most likely help spur sales of the new entry-level model.

Audi A1 Metroproject Concept