Currently reading: Autocar confidential: SUVs past their peak, possible hot Audi A1 and more
Our reporters have been making reams of notes: here are this week’s most interesting snippets
2 mins read
17 August 2021

In this week’s Autocar confidential, a start-up CEO predicts that SUVs are past their peak and that demand for small cars is set to ride, and Audi refuses to rule out a hot version of the S1 supermini sometime in the future.

Red dawn for Volkswagen

Since the original Golf GTI, Volkswagen has used red to mark out performance models, a theme which continues in the EV age with the red details on the ID 4 GTX. “The colour has a strong symbolism: red is blood, red is fire,” said colour and trim designer Mareike Hackbarth. “It triggers feelings of activity, energy and a zest for life. This makes red the perfect brand colour to use for performance models.” We will overlook the fact the R division’s trademark colour is Lapiz Blue.

Hot Audi A1, anyone?

Could Audi be considering a follow-up to the hot S1 supermini? RS3 product boss Marcel-Alexander Hübner said the RS3 will remain the smallest RS model for the foreseeable future, because below that “we only have the A1 right now”. That suggests a future B-segment offering could get the Neckarsulm treatment. The A1, he said, is “not getting an RS version at the moment”. At the moment? Well, he didn’t say never… 

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SUVs done for?

SUVs continue to dominate the sales charts, but Freddy Page-Roberts, CEO of the eponymous UK ‘innovation start-up’ says his firm’s unusual concept for a vertically mounted battery pack predicts the renaissance of the small car. “Changes in our lives mean demand for smaller vehicles is rising,” he said. “Between plummeting birth rates, remote working, the rise of the rental economy and ever-increasing investment in public transport, cars are becoming leisure vehicles more than anything else.”


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