It is on the market for so long, that we almost forgot that Audi’s range also includes the A1. Now, the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer, is finally introducing a new generation of the new A1, also called the Mini-killer.
The A1 Sportback has grown significantly in length – extended by 56 millimetres, it now measures 4.03 metres. At the same time, its width has remained almost the same at 1.74 metres.
The new A1 Sportback also gives a nod to its Audi Ur-quattro and Sport quattro ancestry when viewed from the side: The wide, flat sloping C-pillar seems to push the car forward even while standing still. The roof contrast line, which is available in two dark colours, ends above the C-pillar. This gives the impression that the roof is flatter and the complete car is even lower-slung. All lines on the flanks, from the window edge to the sill, slope upwards towards the rear in a wedge shape. The highlighted wheels and the low shoulder line in between give the A1 Sportback a solid stance on the road. The low line between the edges of the wings draws the visual focal point downwards even further.
In the UK the new A1 Sportback will be offered in conjunction with SE, Sport and S line specification options, and in S line form the car’s dynamic character is brought into particularly sharp relief through numerous features. These include larger air inlets, additional sill trims, an elongated slit centrally below the bonnet with two fins and a larger rear wing. In the top version at launch – the 2.0 TFSI with 200PS which will be available only in S line form – striking twin tailpipes also add to the air of strength and purpose.
The new A1 Sportback is available in a choice of ten colours which, as an option, can be combined with a contrasting roof colour extending from the A-pillar to the roof edge spoiler. The exterior mirror housings, the side front spoiler lips and the side sills are also available in a contrasting colour.
The display and the air vent strip on the front passenger side are integrated into an area with a black glass look. In the dark, the cockpit can be brought to life by an optional contour and ambient lighting package that includes LED light elements in 30 selectable colours.
The cabin is also much more spacious, making life much more comfortable for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. Despite the compact exterior dimensions and the tapering roof line, adults in the rear seats still enjoy plenty of head and leg room. Luggage capacity has increased by 65 litres to 335 litres, and with the rear seats folded down, this increases to 1,090 litres. The load sill height is a comfortably low 67 centimetres.
The entry level SE version features a fully digital instrument cluster with a high-resolution, 10.25-inch display and a multifunction steering wheel as standard. The optional Audi virtual cockpit with an extended range of functions presents comprehensive and diverse information such as animated navigation maps and graphics of some driver assistance systems in the driver’s direct field of vision.
Music and acoustics aficionados will be pleased to find a Digital Audio Broadcasting tuner featuring as standard, and the Audi sound system and Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System available from the options list. The B&O system drives eleven speakers with an output of 560 watts. Its 3D effect uses the windscreen as a reflecting surface.
The body of the new Audi A1 Sportback includes components made out of hot-formed steel that form the backbone of the passenger cell. The rigid body and precise panel fit form the basis for agile handling characteristics and the absence of intrusive noise on board. With a frontal area of 2.07 sq m and a drag coefficient of 0.31, the new A1 Sportback offers very little wind resistance.
Three engines will initially be available: the 30 TFSI, a three-cylinder unit with a 1.0 litre capacity and 116PS of power, a 150PS 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with the cylinder on demand efficiency system (COD) in the 35 TFSI, and a 2.0-litre, 200PS TFSI with 320 Nm (236.0 lb-ft) of torque that will power the overtly performance-focused top model. These will be followed shortly afterwards by the 25 TFSI base engine with 95PS output. All engines can be linked to either a manual gearbox or the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, with the exception of the 200PS variant which uses a six-speed S tronic transmission as standard.
The new Audi A1 Sportback will be available to order in the UK in September ahead of first deliveries in November.