Audi calls its five-door creations 'Sportbacks'. This conceals nothing grandiose, but simply the addition of two rear doors to the three doors sported by the respective range (I'm just thinking about getting a 'Sportback' sticker for my Clio BJ94 5-door model).
This has been done with the A1 concept. While we have already known the beefy three-door model as a prototype, Audi is sending the five-door version to Paris as a 'pre-series production' model.
One visual surprise is how the well-known Audi insignia harmonises smoothly with the proportions of a small car. Single frame radiator grille, the sill climbing towards the back, a 'crease' at hip level on the sides and an angle in the descending window line still look sensible when squeezed together.
Okay, we've already seen similarly-mounted lights in the rear window in the case of the Opel Flextreme, but the series solution will surely look make a less extravagant impression there.
Having got used to the premium fight in the compact class, we should be able to look forward to the next round in the small car class. So we'll let Alfa MiTo, Mini and the Audi A1 enter the ring. Oh and by the way - where is Mercedes? It's going to be difficult for the Smart.