Audi A1

The Audi for da (rich) kidz grows up and out, gets laden with tech and has be­come a bit moody

Top Gear (Malaysia) - - Contents -

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...

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