Audi unveils sharply-styled new A1 Sportback

Doris Richards
June 22, 2018

Audi has taken the wraps off its new A1 supermini. LED headlights and LED taillights are fitted that are dark tinted. The loading sill now sits at a more comfortable 67 cm.

Despite that impressive showing, the A1 has some way to go to overhaul the Mini as it now sells more than double that amount, with 2017 sales of the Mini coming in at a very impressive 215,549 units.

The Infotainment systems have received a big boost, with MMI navigation and touchscreen being the latest in Audi's armoury. The Audi smartphone interface, which is standard for all versions, integrates iOS and Android smartphones using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into an environment in the MMI programmed specifically for them, and offers two USB interfaces.

The axle design of the new Audi A1 Sportback delivers agile handling and a sporty, poised driving experience.

Inside has seen a major rethink too - gone has gone the "signature Audi" dash layout, in its place a fascia full of sharp angles and with the major screens angled towards the driver. The A1 also comes with a DAB radio, a Bang & Olufsen sound system and a wireless charging pad. Also standard is the speed limiter, which prevents the A1 Sportback from exceeding a selected maximum speed. So is Audi pre sense front which uses a radar sensor to warn the driver of approaching obstacles such as other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The tiny alterations bring the vehicle in line with the size of the Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza, with which the Audi shares the MQB A0 platform.

If Audi manages to localise more components of the A1 and starts assembly here, the carmaker should also be able to offer it at an attractive price, which could be significantly lower than the A3 sedan's starting price of Rs 33.1 lakh (ex-showroom, India).

In addition to the rear-view camera, the new A1 also offers a park assist system that can perform parallel and horizontal parking manoeuvres, along with forward perpendicular parks. Besides the basic suspension, there is an option for a tauter sport suspension.

Then there's a 150PS 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit with the cylinder on demand efficiency system (COD) in the 35 TFSI. Dynamic packages, individually configured for every engine version, bundle equipment options to give the A1 Sportback an even sportier trim. Red brake calipers and large brake discs are somewhere in the works.

Although Audi has yet to officially announce the next S1, our sister publication, Autocar UK, understands that it's set for sale because it acts as an effective halo product to lure younger buyers to the brand.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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