German Volkswagen and Audi enthusiasts view the annual gathering in Wörthersee like Apple fans view a MacWorld keynote speech. Their favorite company rolls out a number of new products and concepts, and the crowds go utterly wild. This year, Audi’s using the venue to showcase the awesome new R8 GT, but it is also bringing a number of customized A1 show cars along with it.
“The A1 fits with the meet, “ says Audi design chief Stefan Sielaff, “because customization has always been a central topic for the Audi fans here at the Wörthersee, and it will also play a central role for A1 customers.” Designers have tried to envision a number of different ways the A1 can be personalized. Three cars on display deliberately pander to the locals -- one is dressed like an Austrian police vehicle, while another serves as a tribute to emergency rescue teams based in Wörthersee. Soccer hooligans may enjoy the A1 trimmed in the livery of soccer team FC Bayern, which also wears the number of its star player, Arjen Robben. Other A1 concepts, however, are straight out of left field. The Fashion concept sports an unusual pink-on-fuschia color scheme, and greets the driver with flashing interior lights, said to emulate the onslaught of paparazzi. Another A1 is given the hot rod treatment, and wears matte black paint, red flames, steel wheels, and whitewall tires. We can’t forget the “Follow Me” A1 -- designers dressed the car up as an airport ground control vehicle, giving it a wild yellow checkerboard paint scheme, along with blinding Hella OWS 1000 signal lamps. We’re most interested in the A1 Legends concept. Concept, it seems, is actually a misnomer, as the car actually showcases a number of accessory packages Audi will sell later this year. Buyers will be able to add the aero kit (which includes the front spoiler lip, side sills, rear diffuser, and chrome exhaust tips) for roughly E1600, while the roof spoiler runs another E400. Those enamored with the legendary Audi Sport Quattro race teams may want to opt for a pair of Legends packages, which decorate the A1’s interior and exterior in the same livery used on the original rally cars.