Un­der­pinned by the Volk­swa­gen Group’s cel­e­brated MQB plat­form, Audi has un­veiled its boldly styled sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion A1

Car (South Africa) - - INSIGHT -


Far more ag­gres­sively sculpted than its pre­de­ces­sor, the new A1 sports a wide track and short over­hangs along with three flat slits be­low the edge of the hood that are a clear nod to the brand’s 1980s rally icon, the Sport Quattro. It’s a re­sem­blance fur­ther em­pha­sised by a wide, an­gled C-pil­lar and a slop­ing roof avail­able in two dark colours.


The A1 has grown by 56 mm and now mea­sures 4 030 mm (the width re­mains at 1 740 mm). These pro­por­tions, Audi says, make for a more spa­cious car and, de­spite the lower roofline, rear pas­sen­gers should en­joy suf­fi­cient head- and legroom. Lug­gage ca­pac­ity has been boosted, too, by a claimed 65 litres.


In our mar­ket, there will be a choice of turbo-petrols (from a 1,0-litre three­cylin­der to 1,5- and 2,0-litre four-pots) with out­puts rang­ing from 70 to 147 kw. A man­ual gear­box or a seven-speed dual-clutch trans­mis­sion will be of­fered on most mod­els, while the flag­ship A1 Sport­back 40T FSI will em­ploy a sixspeed dual-clutch as stan­dard.


The ba­sic sus­pen­sion sees a MacPher­son con­fig­u­ra­tion up front, with a com­pact, light­weight tor­sion beam at the rear. There are also pack­ages which pro­vide a sportier setup and these in­clude the Ba­sis pack­age for the en­try-level en­gine with sport sus­pen­sion, red brake cal­lipers and larger brake discs; and a Per­for­mance dy­namic pack­age for the other en­gine de­riv­a­tives. This also adds red brake cal­lipers and larger discs, as well as a sus­pen­sion with ad­justable dampers, a sound ac­tu­a­tor and Audi Drive Se­lect modes.


There will be three trim lev­els, or “equip­ment lines” as In­gol­stadt likes to call them – ba­sic, Ad­vanced and S line – and, for the first time, cus­tomers can com­bine ex­te­rior and in­te­rior lines in which­ever way they like. The S line equip­ment will em­pha­sise the A1’s sportier dis­po­si­tion thanks to larger air in­lets, ad­di­tional sill trims, an elon­gated slit cen­trally be­low the hood and a larger rear spoiler.


Mul­ti­ple sen­sors, from a wind­screen-mounted cam­era and a rear-view cam­era in the boot lid, to long-range radar and ul­tra­sonic sen­sors embed­ded in the front grille and rear bumper, as well as ul­tra­sonic sen­sors in all four whee­larches, are the eyes for an ar­ray of safety fea­tures. Among these are lanede­par­ture warn­ing, emer­gency brak­ing, park as­sist for ma­noeu­vring par­al­lel and hor­i­zon­tally into park­ing spa­ces, as well as adap­tive cruise con­trol.

A1 will be of­fered only As A sport­back, with the three-door fall­ing Away

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