A little taste of bubbly
Audi has finessed the traits of the Polo GTI into a Mini Cooper-busting premium hatch
THE Audi A1 Sport is priced hard up against the Mini Cooper S Chilli but Audi claims its hatch is faster and more fuel efficient. Let the battle begin.
‘‘ Sport’’ says it all— a higher-performance model that uses all the strengths of the seven-month-old A1 with the oomph nicked from parent company Volkswagen.
But it’s too crude and not entirely accurate to say that the A1 Sport is just a more luxurious and expensive version of theVWPolo. Yes, they share a platform and the basic drivetrain. But they drive very differently.
Compare the $27,790 threedoor Polo GTI with the threedoor A1 Sport at $42,500 and you’d feel dudded at the traffic lights.
But they’re not the same car. Buy theVWand you don’t get the Audi’s level of equipment, finish and styling, though the options list is extensive and expensive. Even the colour-contrasting roof arch— the design highlight— is an extra $720.
LED daytime lights, rear park sensors, 17-inch alloys, Bluetooth with voice control and climate control airconditioning are standard. Satnav adds $3600.
Built like a bubble and with extremely short overhangs, the A1 is blunt, efficient and perfectly packaged for cities. It seats four— though it gets a bit tight in the back— and has great luggage space thanks to its flexible seating.
The Polo’s turbocharged and supercharged 1.4-litre small-squirt four gets an extra 4kW in the Audi (now 136kW) and its weight is down to 1190kg (Polo is 1189kg).
The engine is sublime. In the Audi, it feels quieter and less frenetic, possibly due to extra sound deadening, but certainly has more than enough go. Only the seven-speed S-tronic twin