Last week, a few auto news blogs featured reports of a new
MINI-killer coming from Audi by 2010. Early reports have been
accompanied by photos posted to an AutoWeek forum. However AutoBilde is currently running rendered images that seem to be much more realistic.

Photos aside, the news of the car’s specs is vague at best. All that’s reported is that the vehicle could replace the current A2 model, sport 3 doors, seat four people and be powered by the new VAG twincharger lumps, with perhaps diesel engines available as well. It’s hard to see any more than two people fitting in there, and I only count 2 headrests. Pricing was suggested at 15.000 to 20.000 Euro, translating to between $18,000 to $24,000 US – which does fall right in current
MINI territory.

As usual, this speculation stuff has to be taken with a grain of salt. No real sources for this information are named, and there is no official news release from Audi. However, some sites are reporting
German magazine AutoBild has the story in it’s latest issue – a quick look at their site only reveals a comparison piece between a new Works S and and a Morris Mini Minor. Can any MF readers confirm the existence of this story?

All in all, it seems that with the production of the current TT ending
this year
, and a flurry of chatter about Audi’s latest concept vehicles, perhaps this story is simply fan speculation on the direction of Audi’s much-acclaimed entry-level sportster. But it is interesting to note that some see the need for manufacturers to step up and challenge the MINI in the luxury small car segment.