The Audi for da (rich) kidz grows up and out, gets laden with tech and has become a bit moody
The littlest Audi is bigger than ever. And it’s angry. It sits on a new platform – MQB A0, like the Seat Ibiza, Arona and VW Polo. The wheelbase is a whopping 9cm longer, giving many litres of boot (335) and some millimetres of rear legroom. We’ve sat in the back, and unless you’re abnormally long-legged, you’ll fit.
From launch there are three engines – all petrol, none with quattro. The least powerful is a 1.0-litre 3cyl and will be available with 94 or 114bhp. In line with Audi’s bewildering naming strategy – basically, the bigger the number, the more you want it – these will be badged 25 and 30 TFSI. The 35 TFSI has a 1.5-litre engine with 148bhp. The fastest A1
(until the inevitable S1), the auto-only 40 TFSI, has a healthy 197bhp from its 2.0-litre 4cyl. Audi promises that the new A1 is “the sportiest car in its class”. Three suspension options will be available – two levels of stiffness, plus switchable dampers. A load of driver assistance systems borrowed from Audi’s bigger cars should keep you on the straight and narrow.
The A1 has all the new touchscreen MMI infotainment system and Virtual Cockpit instrumentation – but because this is the Audi young people buy more than any other, everything’s a bit more colourful.
This is as aggressive a small car as we’ve seen for a while. Audi says it’s not supposed to be “retro, round or cute”. In this spec, we think it looks smart but we’re reserving final judgement till we’ve seen one on small wheels, without all the trinkets. TOM HARRISON
Styling apparently pays homage to the Sport quattro. Dream on,marketing department...