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Future models - Audi - A1

Audi shows seven new A1 variants as UK sales open

Blinged: Audi's A1 'Competition Kit' is just one of seven new concepts to preview a range of lairy accessories for the upcoming Mini rival.

Seven wacky versions of Audi’s new baby preview a Mini-matching A1 options list

Audi logo6 May 2010

By MARTON PETTENDY

UPDATED 11:00pmAUDI will use Volkswagen’s 26th annual Worthersee Tour event next week to display no fewer than seven new customised versions of its all-new A1 city-car, previewing what to expect in terms of customisation options from Audi’s answer to the Mini.

The bevy of brightly-coloured derivatives of Audi's smallest model ever - which goes on sale in Europe later this year before arriving Down Under in early 2011 - was previewed ahead of next week’s VW event at Reifnitz in Austria.

The day after the Worthersee A1s were revealed, Audi UK announced full A1 pricing and specifications, before pre-orders open in Britain on May 6. As expected, A1 pricing won't start significantly below that of the A3 three-door, which opens at $34,700 in Australia - about $3000 more than BMW's entry-level Mini.

Opening the UK range will be the A1 1.2 TFSI SE five-speed manual at £13,145 ($A21,935) - just £2630 below the A3's base list price there (£15,775 or £26,323).

The VW Polo-sourced 63kW/160Nm 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine will be joined in its largest right-hand drive market by a 78kW/250kW 1.6-litre TDI turbo-diesel and a 90kW/200Nm 1.4 TFSI turbo-four available with a dual-clutch S-tronic transmission.

All UK A1s will be fitted as standard with an idle-stop function, plus energy recuperation, six airbags, ESP electronic stability control with Audi's latest differential lock system, 15-inch alloy wheels, remote central locking, air-conditioning, power windows/mirrors and a six-speaker CD audio system with MP3 connectivity and 6.5-inch retractable screen.

Sport and S-Line equipment grades will be available with 1.4 TFSI and 1.6 TDI engines. Sport versions of the three-door, sub-four-metre A1 add 16-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, sports seats, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a Driver’s Information System, while S-Line models gain a bodykit, 17-inch alloy wheels, S-Line sports suspension and leather/cloth upholstery.

Led by a special-edition ‘FC Bayern’ version that commemorates the German soccer team’s achievement of getting to the Champions League final in Madrid later this month, all seven Worthersee specials were created by under the guidance of chief Audi designer Stefan Sielaff.

While the soccer-themed A1 is resplendent in Bayern colours and features the name and number (10) of Bayern forward Arjen Robben on its roof and doors, other unique A1s at the Worthersee ‘GTI’ meeting will include taxi and police car variants, as well as a design in the colours of Audi’s original Quattro rally car.

Along with their bright paint jobs and innovative adhesive-film liveries, the special A1s also come with interior and exterior add-ons that continue the respective theme of each ‘motto’ vehicle.

“The Audi A1 fits in with the GTI meet because customisation has always been a central topic for the Audi fans here at the Worthersee and will also play a special role for A1 customers,” said Mr Sielaff.

While production versions of the forthcoming A1 – painted Misano Red and Scuba Blue – will also appear at Worthersee, all seven ‘motto’ cars are powered by either 1.4 TFSI turbo-petrol or 1.6 TDI turbo-diesel engines.

7 center imageFor now, there is no further sign of the plug-in hybrid A1 e-tron concept Audi debuted at the Geneva motor show in March. A direct rival for BMW’s 2013 micro-EV at this stage dubbed the Megacity vehicle, the unique extended-range A1 EV’s 75kW/240Nm electric motor and lithium-ion battery can be recharged either by mains power or an onboard rotary-powered engine/generator.

The Worthersee A1s include the petrol-powered A1 ‘Follow Me’ (painted Citrus Yellow), ‘Wasserwacht’ (Suzuka Grey) and ‘Hot Rod’ (Daytona Grey), while diesel ‘motto’ models will include the A1 ‘Competition Kit’ (Amalfi White), ‘FC Bayern’ (Misano Red), ‘Pickerljäger’ (Ibis White) and ‘Fashion’ (Aubergine).

Among a number of unique A1 interior treatments is that of the “competition kit”, which celebrates 30 years of Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive technology and features a rally design with a bold number one logo appearing throughout the interior, including on its centre console, door-handles and rear-view mirror.

Audi says that its “competition kit legends interior” and “competition kit legends interior plus” accessory packages will also be available ex-factory or for retro-fitting via Audi Genuine Accessories outlets in Europe from launch.

While A1 engines, prices and accessories are yet to be confirmed for Australia, Audi says the A1’s “competition kit aerodynamic” accessory pack - which comprises a front spoiler lip, unique side sills, rear diffuser and chromed sports exhaust tips – will sell in Europe for €1600 ($A2265).

The range of optional A1 styling accessories previewed at Worthersee also includes a body-coloured roof spoiler for €400 ($A565), the “legends-look” interior for €575 ($A815) and the “legends-look” exterior decal set, European pricing for which has not been revealed.

The “legends” graphics kit includes Amalfi White paint with a rally theme and borrows the competition kit’s Begonia Red front lip spoiler and rear diffuser, and decorative bezels for the rear-view mirror, air-vents, door-pulls and centre console to recall Audi’s rally heritage.

There are also black cloth floor mats with Begonia Red, Stone Gray and Grey Brown strips, while the “competition kit legends interior plus” adds a colour accent on the leather sports steering wheel, gearshifter and park brake lever.

The list of genuine A1 accessories will also include exclusive new 7.5x18-inch polished cast-aluminium wheels in a five-arm polygon design finished in anthracite or black, wearing 225/35-section tyres.

For the record, the bright yellow A1 ‘Follow Me’ features a black checkerboard pattern to resemble an airport ground control vehicle, while the A1 ‘Hot Rod’ comes with a matt-look, lowered air suspension and steel wheels with white-wall tyres.

The A1 ‘Wasserwacht’ and ‘Pickerljäger’ specials, meantime, represent a nod to Worthersee’s local water rescue service and toll collectors, with the offbeat eggplant purple tone of the ‘Fashion’ edition completing the seven unique A1 models.

Among the 19 vehicles to be exhibited by Audi on its 3000 square-metre stand during the May 12-15 event are the limited-edition R8 GT hard-core super-coupe announced this week, plus the RS5 that debuted at the Geneva show and the R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro that goes on sale here late this year.

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