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New Audi A1 gets sportier appearance

The all new Audi A1 Sportback is available to order from September. The new five-door model only is sportier looking with host of big car features
Audi A1 moving
The new five-door Sportback only A1  features dynamic new styling with touches of classic Audi detailing 


21 June 2018

  • Order from September, delivery for November
  • All new design
  • New TFSI engine range offering up to 200PS
  • Infotainment concepts from the full-size class
  • New driver assistance systems for more safety and comfort
  • Two striking Launch Edition models available in the first phase

THE all-new Audi A1 has thrown off its cute look and got longer, lower and meaner.

The original entry point to business drivers who wanted to access the Audi range, the A1 was  first launched in 2010.

This all-new Audi A1, which is five-door sportback only, will go on sale in September, and available for delivery in November.

No word yet on prices, though. Current A1 Sportback prices range from just over £16k to £30k for the full-on quattro S1 model.

Audi says the A1 features styling from the brand-defining Ur quattros of the Eighties (the original Quattro models).

One thing is clear. It’s a very different A1. The Sportback has grown significantly in length – by 56 millimetres, it now measures 4.03 metres (the length of a medium sized hatchback).

The width has stayed almost the same at 1.74 metres, while it’s got a low slung look thanks to sitting 1.41 metres high.

This ready to run stance is emphasised further by the wide track and short overhangs.

The wide, low-placed Singleframe grille and the implied side air inlets dominate the distinctive front, above which are three flat bonnet slits which pay homage to the Sport quattro, the brand’s rally icon from 1984.

new Audi A1
The new A1 Sportback is available in a choice of ten colours which, as an option, can be combined with a contrasting roof colour extending from the A-pillar to the roof edge spoiler.

Three model lines

The new A1 Sportback will be offered in three model lines: SE, Sport and S line.

S line includes larger air inlets, additional sill trims, an elongated slit centrally below the bonnet with two fins and a larger rear wing.

In the top version at launch – the 2.0 TFSI with 200PS which will be available only in S line form – striking twin tailpipes also emphasise the car’s sporty appeal.

Three engine options

To start with, the A1 Sportback will have a three engine choice:

  • There’s a 30 TFSI, a three-cylinder unit with a 1.0 litre capacity and 116PS of power;
  • a 150PS 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with fuel saving cylinder on demand efficiency system (COD) in the 35 TFSI;
  • and a 2.0-litre, 200PS TFSI with 320 Nm of torque that will power the overtly performance-focused top model.

A 25 TFSI entry level engine with 95PS output will broaden the range soon after.

There’s a choice of a manual gearbox or seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission auto; however, the 200PS variant uses a six-speed S tronic transmission as standard.

Fully digital dashboard display

From the entry level SE version in, there’s a fully digital instrument cluster with a high-resolution, 10.25-inch display and a multifunction steering wheel as standard.

The optional Audi virtual cockpit is available with its extended range of functions. These present comprehensive information such as animated navigation maps and graphics of some driver assistance systems in the driver’s direct field of vision.

new Audi A1
Luggage capacity on the new A1 has increased by 65 litres to 335 litres; with the rear seats folded down, this increases to 1,090 litres.

Fully connected Infotainment

The MMI radio plus comes as standard in the UK – it can be operated via the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel, the smartphone-style touch screen display in the fully digital instrument cluster or via the latest generation of voice control.

All versions can be equipped with the optional Navigation Pack or Technology Pack.

The Navigation Pack has a hard disc-based MMI Navigation unit plus a 10.1-inch MMI touch screen and the higher specification Audi Virtual Cockpit

The Technology Pack adds the various internet-based services offered by Audi connect and Audi Phone Box wireless charging functionality.

With Audi connect fitted, MMI navigation plus offers  functions such as hybrid route guidance – this calculates the route in the cloud, taking into account the entire traffic situation.

Additional highlights are the satellite map view and the new 3D city models, which offer a precise map view of many urban centres. Up to four map updates per year are automatically downloaded and installed free of charge.

The Audi smartphone interface integrates iOS and Android smartphones using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are two USB interfaces (1x USB-A, 1x USB-C with increased charging current).

A Digital Audio Broadcasting tuner is standard; the Audi sound system and 11-speaker 3D sound Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System are optional.

Driver assistance systems

The new Audi A1 Sportback features standard lane departure warning from 40mph and speed limiter.

There’s also Audi pre sense front. The radar sensor recognises critical situations involving other vehicles, crossing pedestrians or cyclists ahead of the vehicle, even when visibility is poor such as in fog.

The system then gives acoustic and visual signals to warn the driver. At the same time, it prepares for a possible full brake application and, if necessary, initiates automatic emergency braking in order to prevent an imminent collision or reduce its impact.

If necessary, the protective measures of the optional Audi pre sense basic are initiated. The front seat belts are electrically tensioned, the windows are closed and the hazard warning lights are switched on.

Optional adaptive cruise assist is also radar-based. It keeps the Audi A1 Sportback at the desired distance from the vehicle ahead.

The new Audi A1 Sportback also offers various optional systems to make parking easier. For the first time, there is a reversing camera in addition to the rear parking system.

The park assist system automatically parallel parks the A1 Sportback and, in its latest form, can also park forwards into perpendicular parking spaces, manoeuvring multiple times if necessary. The system can also exit parallel parking spaces.

As well as no pricing information, there is still no word on CO2 emissions, so the company car tax implications of the new Audi aren’t available yet.

The new Audi A1 Sportback can be ordered from September.

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Ralph Morton

Ralph Morton

Ralph Morton is an award-winning journalist and the founder of Business Car Manager (now renamed Business Motoring). Ralph writes extensively about the car and van leasing industry as well as wider fleet and company car issues. A former editor of What Car?, Ralph is a vastly experienced writer and editor and has been writing about the automotive sector for over 35 years.

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