The new Audi A1 and A1 Sportback which open for UK ordering later this month have an impressive pedigree. In 2010 their predecessors were born of a refusal to compromise in the translation of everything that defines the largest Audi models into the premium brand’s smallest and most accessible car, helping to make them the choice of over 500,000 customers worldwide since that point. The latest range, the first examples of which will reach the UK next spring, features exterior and interior styling enhancements, specification upgrades and new or improved engines, including in the longer term the first ever three-cylinder petrol unit in the Audi range. These improve fuel economy by up to eight per cent and trim CO2 output to as little as 92g/km.
With its sharp yet clean lines, balanced proportions and distinctive detailing the A1 already cuts an imposing figure on the road which belies its size. The latest versions of the three-door and five-door Sportback build on this with the help of a new flatter and wider singleframe grille, new bumpers, new standard alloy wheel designs and a choice of new colours.
Powering the first UK-bound versions of these new models will be a choice of two TFSI petrol engines or a TDI diesel which are now compliant with the latest EU6 emissions regulations and which offer more power, improved economy and in the majority of cases lower emissions than their predecessors. The petrol duo comprises two versions of the turbocharged 1.4-litre TFSI – the ‘standard’ unit with power up from 122PS to 125PS and CO2 down from 124g/km to 115g and the ‘Cylinder-on-Demand’ alternative now offering 150PS with CO2 output of 112g/km.
The 1.6 TDI retains its place as the efficiency trailblazer in the range, with CO2 output in this latest version reduced from 99g/km to 92g/km in both body styles and economy potential increased from 74.3mpg to up to 80.7mpg according to the combined cycle test.
99g/km from new 1.0-litre three-cylinder TFSI
In the spring of 2015 a new turbocharged and directly injected petrol engine – the first with a three-cylinder configuration ever to feature in the Audi range – will become available in the UK, and will come closer than ever to achieving TDI-style frugality. Provisional data for the A1 1.0 TFSI indicates that it will be capable of returning at least 60mpg with CO2 emissions of 99g/km, yet with 95PS – a 6PS increase over the 1.2 TFSI that it replaces – will also deliver suitably peppy performance.
Depending on version, all engines will be linked to either a five-speed or six-speed manual transmission as standard, and for the first time all, including the 1.6 TDI, will also be available with the option of a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch automatic transmission.
As before, the SE, Sport and S line specification levels that make up the latest UK range feature specific suspension set-ups – SE versions run on more comfort-oriented dynamic suspension, Sport models have a firmer sports configuration which has been revised to increase its absorbency and S line versions ride even lower on S line sports suspension. Customers choosing the Sport option can dial back to the even more supple dynamic suspension at no cost if preferred, and the set-up in S line versions can also be taken back one or two steps to either the ‘standard’ sports suspension or the dynamic suspension, also at no cost.