Audi is reported to be planning a competitor to the Mini.

German business weekly Wirtschaftswoche said it had information from a source in top management that Audi is developing a small sporty car with fellow VW Group member Seat based on the A000 platform, which will attract younger customers to the brand. The A000 platform uses parts from the old VW Golf and the current VW Polo, said dpa-AFX.

Wirtschaftswoche reported that the model would be ready for series production in 2009.

Ralph Weyler, Audi board member responsibile for sales and marketing, would not comment on any specific plans to the magazine, but he did say that the company must address the issue of how to introduce younger customers to the Audi brand. "It is not just a question of price," he said, "but of the price-value relationship."

Weyler added: "If we were to build a small car, it would still have to be an Audi."

Earlier this year German consumer car magazine Auto Bild showed a spy photo of a Mini competitor from Audi. That publication suggested that a Mini would be a good way to fill the gap below the A3, now that the A2 will definitely not be replaced.