Audi has shrink-wrapped everything it
stands for to create the new A1, a more compact and city-friendly
three-door premium hatchback that delivers all the celebrated quality,
design flair and engineering acumen synonymous with Vorsprung durch
Technik in a more concentrated form. The A1 is set to make its World
debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and will be available to order
in the UK from May for late 2010 deliveries.
Closely following the look of 2007’s
critically acclaimed Audi A1 project quattro design study, the
production-ready A1 distils the essence of Audi into a sleek,
streamlined body with an impressively low drag coefficient of 0.32 which
occupies a road ‘footprint’ of less than four metres, without
sacrificing space for four adults and their luggage.
Inside, as out, the look and feel of
the materials epitomises Vorsprung durch Technik, as does the on-board
technology. This includes the latest, ultra-efficient TDI and TFSI
engines backed up by start-stop and recuperation systems,
state-of-the-art ESP with a new electronic differential lock and
archetypal convenience features such as the optional Multi Media
Interface (MMI) infotainment system.
Not surprisingly the most space
efficient Audi in the range employs the most compact and fuel efficient
Audi engines, all of which compensate very effectively for their
relatively small displacements with the latest turbo charger technology.
In the UK the A1 will initially be available with three impressively
frugal units, all optimised by engine start-stop and energy recuperation
The new 1.2 TFSI petrol engine linked
exclusively to a five-speed manual transmission kicks off the range, its
86PS and 160Nm peak power and torque outputs enabling a 0-62mph time of
12.1 seconds and a 111mph top speed, delivered with 55.4mpg capability
and low CO2 of 119g/km*.
S tronic twin-clutch
transmission also for A1
The more familiar 1.4 TFSI power unit is next up, and delivers its 122PS
and 200Nm via the standard six-speed manual gearbox or the optional
seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission. Equipped with S tronic it
takes the A1 to 62mph in 9.1 seconds, and on to 124mph where conditions
allow, and in this form can match its smaller counterpart on economy and
emissions, delivering up to 55.4mpg with CO2 output of
Already renowned for creating the
premium sector’s most fuel-efficient car – the A3 1.6-litre TDI – the
105PS 1.6-litre diesel is the third engine option, and via a five-speed
manual gearbox uses its impressive 250Nm torque output to power the A1
to 62mph in 10.8 seconds and on to a 116mph top speed, while retaining
the potential to achieve 72.4mpg economy with emissions of 102g/km*.
Thanks in part to these relatively
light, compact engines, between 61 per cent and 63 per cent of the
overall weight of the A1 rests over the front, driven axle - an
impressively balanced load distribution for a car in the compact class.
Combined with the short front and rear body overhangs, the sophisticated
front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam suspension and the latest
generation Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with electronic axle
differential, this facilitates a compliant ride and controlled, well
balanced handling that is also nimble and fun.
Depending on which specification level
is chosen from the SE, Sport and S line options available in the UK, the
suspension controls either 15-inch, 16-inch or 17-inch alloy wheels and
has either a standard setting for the SE, a stiffer Sport configuration
with lowered ride height or an even more sporting S line set-up.
Powerful all-disc brakes, ventilated at the front, and power-saving
electrohydraulic power steering feature as standard across the board.
Latest generation ESP with
All engine options are supported by the latest generation ESP system
with electronic differential, which initiates brief, controlled braking
of the inside front wheel and transfers the excess torque to the outside
wheel, which can apply more power to the road. This helps to further
boost handling agility and neutrality by minimising understeer and
These measures have ensured that the A1
will feel every inch an Audi from behind the wheel, an impression which
begins to form even before the ignition key is turned thanks to the
exceptional quality of the interior finish and the familiar Audi
The vast majority of the familiar Audi
appointments will either be fitted as standard or optional. Standard
features will include alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric front
windows and mirrors, remote central locking, a single CD audio system
and split folding rear seats.
Xenon headlamps with trademark LED
daytime running lights will be available at extra cost exclusively for S
line models, but all versions will offer the option to upgrade with
features such as a BOSE sound system including LED-lit woofers, DAB
radio, the Audi Music Interface for iPod connection, cruise and parking
distance controls and the Multi Media Interface (MMI) navigation plus
system. Based on the system used by the latest Audi A8, MMI navigation
plus incorporates a 60 gigabyte hard drive, 20 gigabytes of which can be
devoted to music files, linked to a 6.5-inch retractable colour display
which can be used to scroll through music tracks or to display 3D
mapping for the navigation system.
The A1 will also offer a choice of
equipment packages, as well as numerous customisation options for both
exterior and interior using an array of colours, materials and equipment
options designed to make each car feel as unique and personal as
possible. The ‘roof contrast line’ – a contrasting colour scheme for the
A, B and C pillars as seen first in the A1 project quattro study in
Tokyo and exhibited by the car featured here - is just one of the many
Prices for the A1 in the UK have yet
to be finalised, but are expected to start at around £13,000. Full
details will be available nearer to its world debut at the 2010 Geneva
Motor Show (March 4 to 14), when the full content of the various trim
levels will also be confirmed.
New provided by Audi A1 Forum