Audi’s boss of Marketing and Sales, Ralph Weyler, has confirmed that the automaker is working on the A1 and that it’ll bring the fight to BMW’s MINI in 2009.

The new car will be built using underpinnings from the previous Golf and current Polo, and is expected to cost around €15,000 to €18,000.

Audi will be working in collaboration with fellow Volkswagen Group subsidiary SEAT on the project, he said in an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel.

Audi’s goal is to bring younger buyers to the market and introduce them to the brand with the hope that they’ll move on to a larger and more expensive vehicle further down the track.

BMW’s MINI sells so well because it’s just as much a fashion and lifestyle icon as a car. Audi will need to work very hard to pitch the A1 against the undeniably cute styling of the MINI.