Less really is more in the new Audi A1 and Audi A3 TFSI Cylinder-on-Demand (CoD) models, which by cutting down on unnecessary mechanical effort manage to snap at the heels of their TDI counterparts with fuel economy figures of up to 60.1mpg. Capable of making a near seamless switch between two cylinder and four cylinder operation in as little as 13 milliseconds, the advanced new petrol-powered models can cruise ultra-frugally, but also immediately draw on 140PS when required, so despite their dramatic economy gains they remain very much on the pace.
Available to order from this week priced from £16,740 OTR in the A1 and £20,055 OTR in the A3, the new 1.4-litre TFSI 140PS CoD models carry a premium of £850 over their continuing 1.4 TFSI 122PS equivalents in both ranges, positioning them as attractive alternatives to the 2.0-litre TDI variants.
All versions of the A1 and A1 Sportback are equipped initially with the seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission, and all versions of the A3 and A3 Sportback with a six-speed manual gearbox. Both transmissions will however become available for all A1 and A3 CoD models later this year.
Delivering its peak 140PS output at 5,000rpm and a maximum of 250 Nm of torque between 1,500 and 3,500 rpm, the sophisticated new unit gives 0-62mph acceleration times of 7.9 and 8.0 seconds in the A1 and five-door A1 Sportback equipped with S tronic transmission. The A3 and A3 Sportback with manual transmission complete the sprint in 8.3 and 8.4 seconds. Top speeds are 132mph in all cases.
According to the official combined cycle test the Sport, S line and Black Edition versions of the A1 can return up to 60.1mpg, equating to CO2 output of 109g/km. A1 Sportback Sport versions also match their three-door counterparts at 60.1mpg and 109g/km, while S line and Black Edition versions of the five-door run them close with 57.6mpg potential and 113g/km output.
In the A3, combined economy tops out at 60.1mpg and CO2 output at 109g/km regardless of the specification chosen, with the A3 Sportback only fractionally behind at 58.9mpg and 112g/km. In all versions, an engine start-stop system cuts in when the cars are waiting at traffic lights and junctions because no-cylinder operation is even more efficient than two-cylinder operation.
More infrequent visits to the filling station and cheaper fuel prices are just two of the benefits this technology brings to the petrol A1 and A3 ranges. Business users weighing these cars up against their 2.0-litre TDI equivalents will find that with the help of their lower purchase prices and virtually identical CO2 outputs the Cylinder-on-Demand A1 models offer a 40% tax payer a benefit-in-kind saving of up to £919 per annum. Upgrading to one of their A3 counterparts brings even greater financial rewards of up to £1,044 per annum. When combined with low B and C Vehicle Excise Duty bands these figures bring petrol power very much back into contention.
|A1 1.4 TFSI 140PS CoD UK Pricing|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS Sport (manual)||£16,740 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS Sport (S tronic)||£18,190 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS S line (manual)||£18,285 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS S line (S tronic)||£19,735 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS Black Edition (manual)||£19,535 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS Black Edition (S tronic)||£20,985 OTR|
|A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI 140PS CoD|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS Sport (manual)||£17,360 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS Sport (S tronic)||£18,810 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS S line (manual)||£18,905 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS S line (S tronic)||£20,355 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS Black Edition (manual)||£20,155 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS Black Edition (S tronic)||£21,605 OTR|
|A3 1.4 TFSI 140PS CoD UK Pricing|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS SE (manual)||£20,055 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS Sport (manual)||£21,280 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS S line (manual)||£23,430 OTR|
|A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI 140PS CoD|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS SE (manual)||£20,675 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS Sport (manual)||£21,900 OTR|
|1.4 TFSI 140PS S line (manual)||£24,050 OTR|