Audi has surprised us by releasing a full suite of images of their “next big thing“—the Audi A1. The A1 is due for a full public reveal at the Geneva Motor Show in a few weeks.
So, what do we make of the Audi “MINI”? First impressions of the exterior are very good. Although, this is one car that will look best with larger alloys. The front and rear light clusters are works of art, as is the norm for Audi these days.
Inside, too, the immediate response is one of quality and Germanic style. The fold away nav screen is a nice touch. Although, speaking of touch, the touch screen nav systems used by Volkswagen, in the Golf for example, are a step ahead of current Audi navigation systems in terms of usability. Of course, it remains to be seen how this new MMI system will work in the A1, but a move towards the VW style would have been welcome.
Another observation from these pics is the apparent lack of dual climate control. Such systems are becoming common place these days and for a car claiming to be the first fair dinkum premium car in the compact class this might be a minor oversight. Having said that, the detail of the air vents in the A1 is something.
Audi is intent on trying to match MINI for customisation with the A1. Things like choosing the colour of the dramatic roof arch or tailoring interior appointments, even down to the detail of the air nozzles and colour of interior LED lighting, should ensure potential buyers are kept busy while working out how many of said options they can afford.
Not too much is given away on the engine range at this stage. There’s certainly no confirmation of an S1 model at this early stage, that’s for sure. For now, then, we know there will be four engines at initial launch, two diesel and two petrol. All will be turbocharged and the power on offer ranges from 63kW–90kW. As expected with those moderate numbers fuel consumption (l/100km) hovers around high 3s-mid 5s and CO2 figures are also relatively low.
These figures are gained, in part, through the use of Audi’s start-stop system which will be included on all engines mentioned at this stage. A 7-speed S tronic transmission will also be available across the board.
I’d say I speak for most AUSmotive readers when I say I am most anticipating the announcement of the S1 model (expected to debut at the 2011 Paris Motor Show). However, I am now more inclined to think the S1 will have a quattro drivetrain after AUSmotive recently learned there are plans to use such a system on the A1 platform. Either that or I was indirectly given the scoop on plans for a new Q1 model. Let’s hope it was the former!
You know the drill, heaps of images are all yours after the jump, along with more detail in the form of Audi’s press release.
The new Audi A1 – Sportiness and individuality in the compact class
Audi is introducing a whole new dimension to the compact class this summer. It is dynamic and high quality, emotional and individual. It condenses all of the virtues of the brand down to less than four meters – a design full of character, uncompromising quality and pioneering efficiency technologies. The agile chassis and powerful engines make the A1 the sportiest car in the segment.
The young customers of the A1 live in major cities and therefore are looking for a vehicle that is designed for the urban environment. Thanks to its compact dimensions, it is very agile and nimble in city traffic and offers a high degree of everyday utility.
The interior of the A1 is also sporty and of high quality. Customers can customize numerous details to tailor the car to their personal tastes. Audi’s latest model has a broad portfolio of advanced technologies on board; its infotainment system sets new standards in the segment. The A1 is the first premium automobile in the small compacts class – a true, fully-fledged Audi.
The Audi brand stands for automotive passion. With its agile chassis and powerful engines, the A1 is the sportiest car in its class, and this is readily apparent at first glance. The design is unique and modern. Styling cues placing the A1 in the Audi family include the side line with the distinctive roof arch, the coupe-like C-pillars, the large wheel wells and, of course, the front end with the typical single-frame grille. The hood and rear hatch encompass the body; the tail lights are three-dimensionally molded and present an unmistakable design, day or night.
The interior: airy and dynamic
The interior of the A1 is spacious and airy. The instrument panel is suggestive of an airplane wing; its four round air nozzles are reminiscent of the turbines of a jet. The clear ergonomics and the uncompromisingly high fit and finish typify the Audi brand’s high standards. Many lovingly designed details in the interior document the premium character of the Audi A1.
In addition to the Attraction and Ambition trim lines, Audi also offers a media style package focused on infotainment and the interior design. The innovative materials and modern colors underscore the character of the A1. Whether colored air nozzles, LED interior lights or seat covers in expressive colors – customization is an important catchword. The equipment program offers countless opportunities for matching the A1 to the driver’s own personal style. There are even a variety of paint finishes from which to choose for the roof arch. Customers can order many of these features after the initial sale to follow a trend or a whim.
The available infotainment and multimedia systems available come directly from the luxury class. The top of the line is MMI navigation plus, a media center that sets new standards in the compact segment. From the monitor that rises up out of the instrument panel to the control unit that follows the MMI logic, it is oriented on the systems found in Audi models in the higher segments. Based on the concert radio, the connectivity package offers the option of retrofitting an Audi map-based navigation system – a novelty in the automotive sector. The 465 watt Bose surround sound system is just one example of the complementary modules available.
Concentrated driving pleasure: the sportiest car in its class
The sporty, agile chassis of the A1 places it at the head of its class. Whether in the city, on an interurban road or on the highway – the A1 is great fun to drive anywhere thanks to its sporty setup, the optimized weight distribution and the very direct steering. The standard ESP stabilization system with electronic axle-differential lock makes the handling of the A1 even more sporty and precise, while driving safety is increased even further.
The new A1 also sets new efficiency standards. Audi is sending the new model line into the fray with four four-cylinder engines, with the two TDI and two TFSI gasoline engines producing between 63 kW (86 hp) and 90 kW (122 hp). All of the engines follow the downsizing principle – they substitute turbocharging for displacement and draw their fuel through direct injection units.
All versions of the A1 impress with good fuel economy, with standard cycle values between 3.8 and 5.4 liters per 100 kilometers (43.56 – 61.90 US mpg) (provisional values). The 1.6 TDI with 66 kW (90 hp) and manual transmission emits only 99 g of CO2 per kilometer (159.33 g/mile). All of the engines are equipped with a recuperation system that allows them to recover energy during braking, and are coupled with an automatic start-stop system. A new temperature management system with switched water pump contributes to the low fuel consumption of the 1.2 TFSI.
High-tech and efficiency: the seven-speed S tronic
At Audi, efficiency is always high-tech. The A1 is available with the seven-speed S tronic transmission. The dual-clutch transmission changes gears extremely quickly, comfortably and without detectable interruptions in pulling power. It offers both automatic and manual modes, with paddles on the steering wheel available as an option. It provides for tremendously fun driving and also further reduces fuel consumption – typical Audi.
The A1 is sporty, powerful and attractive. As a newcomer in the compact segment, it appeals to a modern customer group – a young, urban, lifestyle-oriented public. A1 customers – many of whom are expected to be women – are interested in design, music, fashion and sports. The entry-level model will be priced at around 16,000 euros.
At a glance
The new Audi A1
Design and body
- Distinctively progressive, coupe-like design, encompassing shoulder line, large wheel wells, contrasting custom-look roof arch as an option
- Headlights with characteristic appearance, optional xenon plus with LED daytime running lights, three-dimensionally styled tail lights
- High-strength body with uncompromising build quality
Interior and equipment
- Dynamic interior design reminiscent of aeronautical engineering
- Top-level fit and finish, modern materials and colors
- Two trim levels and media style package, many very comfortable and sporty features available, numerous opportunities for customization
- Latest infotainment technologies, optional retractable MMI display on the instrument panel
- High-performance navigation system with MMI control concept
- Comprehensive options for the connection and playback of mobile phones and portable music media, Bluetooth interface
- Connectivity package for the later integration of an Audi map-based navigation system
- Bose audio system with LED fiberoptic technology
- Two powerful and efficient TDI and two TFSI engines, all with turbocharging and direct fuel injection, power output from 63 kW (86 hp) to 90 kW (122 hp)
- All engines with recuperation system and start-stop system; 1.2 TFSI with thermal management
- 1.6 TDI with 66 kW (90 hp) and 77 kW (105 hp) and manual transmission emit as little as 99 g of CO2 per kilometer (159.33 g/mile) (provisional value).
- Optional seven-speed S tronic
- On-board computer with efficiency program
- Balanced axle load distribution, low total weight
- Sporty chassis with wide track; direct steering ratio
- ESP stabilization system with electronic front differential lock to bolster the agile handling