Audi launched its new A1 model at the Australian International Motor Show. They say it is the next big thing. Small in size, big on features is the theory. Does the A1 deliver on its promise? We’ll need a drive before we can give a definitive answer on that, but after putting our grubby little fingers all over the car we can at least tell you what it’s like from a visual point of view.
Outside, the look is definitely Audi and the result is mostly a success. Maybe the lower lip on the lower hatch where it meets the rear window is a bit too chunky, but that’s being very picky. Overall the A1 creates a pleasing mix of fun and sophistication.
Inside, the A1 is a real success. While the new Volkswagen Polo has improved its interior look and finish taking it to an all new level, the Audi A1 raises the bar further still. The hideaway Nav screen is a nice feature. It brings a welcome level of luxury to the small car segment. The only negative, though, is the resolution of the screen lacks detail compared to the system used in the current A3 range, for example. First impressions of the seats are very positive. They get the right blend of support and comfort and feel the equal, at least, of far more expensive cars.
At launch Audi will offer two trim levels, both powered by a 90kW 1.4 TFSI engine. The Attraction, with 6 speed manual, is priced from $29,900, while the Ambition starts at $32,650. Add $2,350 to both if you want a 7-speed S tronic (double clutch gearbox).
Deliveries of the A1 will start early next year. More details from Audi when they come to hand.
The Audi A1: The Next Big Thing Is Coming
- Audi A1 priced from $29,900*
- Four model range at launch
- Lively 90 kW and 200 Nm 1.4 TFSI engine combines excellent performance with outstanding fuel efficiency
- Optional 7-speed S tronic transmission
Audi Australia has announced pricing and the initial model line-up for The Next Big Thing: the Audi A1. This breakthrough premium sub-compact starts at just $29,900 in 1.4 TFSI Attraction 6-speed manual form.
With the A1, Audi is bringing premium motoring to a whole new generation of Audi customers.
The new Audi A1 is a condensed and concentrated expression of the Audi DNA. Authentically Audi, the A1 brings the marqueâ€™s progressive design, advanced technology and uncompromising quality to a segment which attracts those who donâ€™t want a large car but still demand the highest quality and a premium driving experience.
The initial Audi A1 range for Australia will comprise two core models in the A1 1.4 TFSI Attraction 6-speed manual and the A1 1.4 TFSI Ambition 6-speed manual. Both are available with the option of a 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission (steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters are also available).
All A1 models benefit from the Audi core principle of technology delivering power, rather than outright displacement. The result is that the 1.4 TFSI is both remarkably efficient and sporty. Featuring turbocharging and direct injection, this four-cylinder delivers 90 kW and 200 Nm and accelerates the A1 from 0-100km/h in 8.9 seconds, yet sips just 5.3 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.
Although it may be small, the A1 lacks nothing in terms of dynamics or safety. The A1 enjoys a weight distribution and suspension set-up tuned for precise steering and handling.
All A1 models also boast six airbags and ESP stability program with electronic limited slip differential as standard.
â€œThe success of the A1 will drive our ongoing growth in Australia and will bring premium Audi motoring to a whole new audience,â€ said Audi Australia managing director, Uwe Hagen
â€œThis car brings all of the Audi principles of design, quality and engaging performance to a new segment of customers who donâ€™t wish to compromise on a premium driving experience.â€
The A1 makes its Australian debut at this weekâ€™s International Motor Show in Sydney with two examples starring on the Audi stand. Both are in A1 1.4 TFSI Ambition specification, one with the 6-speed manual transmission and the other with the 7-speed S tronic.
The Misano Red model with Ice Silver contrasting red roof arch is the A1â€™s signature colour combination and in this case is equipped with the six-speed manual. Its Amalfi White counterpart is fitted with Audiâ€™s 7-speed S tronic, and boasts Audiâ€™s Competition package of interior and exterior enhancements designed to further emphasis the carâ€™s sporting appeal.
Both are also equipped with a variety of features and trim designed to illustrate just how personalised an owner can make their A1.
In addition to a â€˜spoilt-for-choiceâ€™ range of interior and exterior colour and trim options, proof that the A1 is born from the same Audi DNA that runs through every model from the A8 down is found in the array of technology and comfort features available. These types of options, including the latest Audi MMI navigation plus system, are usually only found in larger and more expensive cars.
Customer deliveries of the Audi A1 will begin early in 2011.
Audi A1 Manufacturers List Price:
*MLP excludes dealer delivery and government statutory charges
Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Attraction 6-speed manual: $29,900
Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Attraction 7-speed S tronic: $ 32,250
Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Ambition 6-speed manual: $32,650
Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Ambition 7-speed S tronic: $35,000