2011 Audi A1

2011 Audi A1

Depending who you're talking to, Americans are either SUV-loving small-car haters or clamoring for more Euro-hatches to be brought to U.S. streets. Audi thinks most Americans fall into the former camp, claiming that the country's car-buying populace just isn't ready for the A1 premium subcompact, despite the popularity of cars like the MINI Cooper.

The comparison is apt, as the MINI Cooper is arguably the only premium subcompact on the U.S. market at the moment, and Audi's new A1 is expected to target that size and market segment over the niche being eyed by Toyota's iQ or the Volkswagen Up.

Audi's new A1 goes on sale this Europe and demand over there may exceed the first year's planned production of 50,000 units. However, there remains no plans to bring it to local showrooms. The reasoning? Customers in the U.S. are unlikely to foot the expected $25,500 asking price.

While the A1 may be off the table for now, a larger A2 model is in the works and is a very real possibility for the U.S. market. It's not yet clear exactly when the A2 will be coming, though the wait will be long as current estimates put its release date at around 2014.

[Detroit Free Press]