1 Dec 2010
AIMED directly at BMW’s evergreen Mini, as well as the Alfa Romeo MiTo, Citroen DS3, Fiat 500, Renault Clio RS 200 Cup and Volkswagen Polo GTI, the three-door four-seater Audi A1 hatch range arrived in December 2010 boasting just the single body style and engine choice.
The 90TSI engine, also found in the Volkswagen Golf 90TSI and Skoda Octavia 90TSI, was a 1390cc twin-cam 16-valver producing 90kW of power at 5000rpm and 200Nm of torque from 1500-4000rpm – thanks to a turbo and intercooler.
Gearbox options were a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission that Audi dubs S-tronic.
The A1 was built on the same PQ25 architecture as the fifth-generation Polo that was launched in May 2010. That means front-wheel drive, with MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear axle.
Dimensionally, the A1 became the smallest car the company has sold in Australia.
In mid 2011 Audi launched the Sport version.
THE Audi A1’s inexorable march up the power ladder started with the release of the ‘S’ (for Sport) version.
Like the $27,790 Volkswagen Polo GTI that shared fundamental chassis and drivetrain components, the A1 S employed the 1.4-litre turbo-charged and supercharged twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder petrol engine known as the ‘Twincharger’ in VW-speak.
Similarly, the front wheels were driven via a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox only – so no manual option is available – delivering 136kW of power at 6200rpm and 250Nm of torque from 1500-4000rpm.
With the supercharger set from about 1500rpm to 2500rpm in most cases for a low-rev boost, and then the turbo-charger blowing in from 3500rpm, the swiftest A1 scooted to 100km/h from standstill in 6.9 seconds, for a top speed of 227km/h.
For a sportier dynamic flavour Audi offered the S-Line suspension package that added another degree of firmness and body control to the Sport’s standard Ambition level of tuning, as well as different 17-inch alloys and some minor trim changes inside.