Future models - Audi - A1

First look: Audi finally reveals its Mini fighter

Junior Audi: Audi's slow-reveal campaign for the A1 has finally come to an end.

All-new Audi A1 makes its long-awaited online debut ahead of its Geneva premiere

Audi logo10 Feb 2010


WE saw the concepts, the design sketches, the production version’s air-vents, LED running lights and some of its interior, and we’ve even seen the Brussels factory in which Audi’s all-new A1 micro-hatch will be produced.

Now the Volkswagen Group has staged the much-anticipated web debut of its premium brand’s first direct rival for BMW’s Mini, revealing the pint-sized three-door hatchback in its entirety for the first time ahead of its global public debut in the metal at Geneva on March 2.

Due on sale in right-hand drive markets including Australia and the UK late this year, the A1 is expected to eventually spawn a complete family of model derivatives, including five-door (as previewed by the A1 Sportback concept) and convertible body styles, plus S1 and even RS1 hot-hatch iterations.

For now, the three-door VW Polo-based A1, which like the born-again British Mini will be both “sporty and customisable”, will be the smallest Audi model ever sold in Australia, which never received the German brand’s discontinued A2.

A new-generation version of the latter is also expected to be forthcoming, despite the A1’s positioning at the bottom of the range below the A3 small hatch.

7 center imageHowever, while the A1 is designed to attract a whole new (younger) breed of buyers to the burgeoning Audi brand, it is not expected to significantly undercut the price of the A3 three-door, which currently opens at $34,700, while the Mini Cooper three-door starts at $31,100.

As expected, the A1’s compact four-seat interior will come with the latest automotive infotainment functions like Bluetooth connectivity, auxillary inputs for portable music players and other features from Audi’s vastly more expensive luxury car range.

Just as promised by both the Metroproject and Sportback show cars, the production A1, which has a drag coefficient of 0.32Cd, can be had with a variety of contrasting roof-arch paint colours and various seat trim hues.

Also similar to the concepts is the production car’s overall length of 3950mm, making it about 250mm longer than the Mini hatch and giving it more than 100 litres of extra boot space, at 267 litres. That extends to 920 litres with the split-folding rear seats down.

While the A1 is almost 300mm shorter than the A3, other key measurements include a width of 1740mm (compared to 1765mm for the A3), height of 1420mm (1421mm for the A3) and wheelbase of 2470mm (2578mm).

As Audi’s new fuel economy leader, the A1 will be initially available in Europe with a range of four frugal four-cylinder engines, each with direct fuel-injection and turbocharging.

Ranging in average fuel consumption between just 3.8 and 5.4 litres per 100km, they include 66kW and 77kW 1.6-litre turbo-diesels, plus 63kW/160Nm 1.2-litre and 90kW/200Nm 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engines.

The A1’s standard transmission will be a six-speed manual, alongside the option of a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual, matched with a fuel-saving idle-stop system.

Other standard features will include electronic stability control with the latest electronic differential system, alloy wheels, air-conditioning and a single-CD audio system.

Matched with a five-speed manual, the A1 1.2 TFSI sprints to 100km/h in a claimed 12.1 seconds and returns average CO2 emissiosn of 119 grams per kilometre.

Audi says the A1 1.4 TFSI auto reaches 100km/h in 9.1 seconds and returns 119g/km, while the A1 1.6 TDI sprints to 100km/h in 10.8 seconds and returns 102g/km.

Read more

Share with your friends

Audi models