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Audi tweaks A1 range

A plus: The refreshed A1 range is set to arrive in local Audi dealerships in the middle of next year.

New three-cylinder powertrains and light re-styling for facelifted Audi A1 line-up

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Audi logo17 Nov 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

AUDI’S range-opening A1 hatch has received a mid-life freshen up, bringing with it a pair of new three-cylinder engines and efficiency improvements to existing powertrains.

The Belgian-built city runabout now features a sharper look with narrower headlights and a wider single-frame grille that brings it into line with the go-fast S1 hot hatch that launched in Australia in September.

Further tweaks to the exterior include restyled front and rear bumpers which extend the car's overall length by 20mm to 3980mm, new alloy wheel designs and some fresh colours added to the palette.

Timing for a local arrival is mid-2015, and the line-up is likely to remain similar to the existing range which consists of the five-door Sportback body-style offered in three different trims and two petrol and one diesel engine.

Audi is introducing two new three-cylinder engines as a part of the update, but it is unclear whether these will form part of the line-up when it arrives in Australian showrooms next year.

The new 1.0-litre TFSI three-pot petrol unit has a provisional output of 70kW and fuel use on the European combined cycle of 4.3 litres per 100 kilometres and CO2 emissions of 99g/km.

The 1.4-litre TDI diesel triple offers up 66kW and brings the fuel use down to 3.4L/100km and 89g/km of CO2 emissions. This unit also marks the first ‘ultra’ – Audi's sub-brand that promotes fuel efficiency and low emissions – engine in the A1 line-up.

No details are available for the rest of the powertrains, but the company said in a release that power has increased in most engines and fuel economy is down by up to 10 per cent, depending on the variant.

Audi did confirm that its seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission will be available across the A1 range in Europe.

The perky hatch gains new electromechanical steering, which the company says ensures the driver has “optimal assistance in all driving situations”.

A newly created ‘sport’ equipment line features a stiffer suspension tune that Audi claims is more comfortable than before, while the S line gains sports suspension for more dynamic driving.

Audi’s Drive Select Dynamic Handling system that alters engine characteristic, the transmission and adjustable shock absorbers with three modes – auto, efficiency and dynamic.

The German car-maker has changed its optional features and says the A1 can be customised more than before with the new ‘sport’ or ‘design’ lines available. An ‘active’ kit is also on offer, which the company says “highlights the urban character of the Audi A1 distinctively”.

Audi’s MMI navigation plus is available in the A1 as well as the Audi connect module which creates a WiFi hotspot.

The refreshed A1 follows recently revealed updates to the Q3 crossover and the A6 sedan range, both of which are mid-life facelifts.

The A1, which shares its underpinnings with the Volkswagen Polo, arrived in mid-2012 and has averaged about 150 sales per month since.

It is the top-selling model in the over $25,000 light car segment with 1470 units sold year to date, ahead of the new-generation Mini hatch which has sold 1227 in the same period.

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