The brand new Audi A1 is right here, and it is extremely offended

First Look

New mini-Audi guarantees a lot tech and drive. Fingers crossed

The littlest Audi is greater than ever. And it’s offended. Very offended. We’re advised these three slits above the colossal grille are a homage to the ’84 Sport Quattro – a automobile with which the A1 shares actually nothing save for the four-rings on its nostril. Possibly that’s what it’s offended about…cynical advertising and marketing.

Anyway, the rationale for this bigness is the brand new platform – the identical ‘MQB A0’ merchandise that underpins the Seat Ibiza, Arona and Volkswagen Polo. The brand new A1 is about as tall because the automobile it replaces, however virtually six centimetres longer and three wider. The wheelbase is a whopping 9 centimetres longer, giving many litres of boot (335) and a few millimetres of rear-legroom. We’ve sat within the again, and might affirm that until you’re abnormally long-legged, you’ll match.

Commercial – Web page continues beneath

Naturally engines are shared too. From launch there are three – all petrol, and none paired with Quattro AWD. For now, anyway. The least highly effective is of three-cylinders and 1.0-litres, and can be obtainable with both 94 or 114bhp (the latter will in all probability be the most well-liked engine within the UK). In keeping with Audi’s bewildering naming technique – mainly, the larger the quantity, the extra you need it – these can be badged 25 and 30 TFSI.

The 35 TFSI has a 1.5-litre engine with 148bhp and cylinder-deactivation, so underneath light-load it will possibly shut down two of its four-cylinders for higher gas economic system. Till the inevitable S1 (or RS1? We will however dream…), the quickest and strongest A1 – the auto-only 40 TFSI – has a reassuringly wholesome 197bhp from its 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine (a spinoff of the one utilized in quick VWs, Skodas and Seats). We tried all these engines in different VAG merchandise – and there’s not a duffer amongst them. Excellent news.

As for dealing with, Audi guarantees a lot. We’re advised the brand new A1 is “the sportiest automobile in its class”, and that it’ll provide “agile dealing with” and a “poised driving expertise”. Three suspension choices can be obtainable – two ranges of stiffness, plus switchable dampers. A load of driver help methods borrowed from Audi’s larger vehicles ought to hold you on the straight and slim.

Audi interiors are nice, in case you’re the type of one that sees the morning commute as one other alternative to conduct vital enterprise. The A1 has all of the tech’ – like the brand new touchscreen MMI infotainment system (with just one display screen, not two like in huge Audis) and Digital Cockpit instrumentation – however as a result of that is the Audi younger individuals purchase greater than another, the whole lot’s a bit brighter, a bit extra vibrant. The yellow automobile we had a poke round (and that’s pictured right here) has snazzy upholstery and colour-matched trim. We prefer it quite a bit. That stated, it stays to be seen how a extra modestly, extra realistically-specified one will look…Hopefully not too dowdy.

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Identical’s true of the skin. That is as aggressive a small automobile as we’ve seen for a very long time. Audi says it’s not purported to be “retro, spherical or cute”. On this spec, we assume it seems fairly good, although you may disagree. And that’s effective. Inform us within the feedback. We’re reserving closing judgement until we’ve seen one on small wheels, with out all of the frippery.

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