Published on June 20th, 2018 | by Subhash Nair0
Meet the New Audi A1: The Latest Sports Hatchback from Ingolstadt
In 2010, a brand-new Audi model line made its debut in the shape of the A1. And now the second generation of the successful compact car is rolling to the starting line. Its dynamic design characterizes the new Audi A1 Sportback. It is the ideal companion in the urban environment and is also very well suited for longer journeys. With its full-size-worthy infotainment and driver assistance systems, the A1 Sportback is firmly networked with the digital world. New trim lines provide ample opportunity for customisation.
Exterior design: Striking, masculine with genes of the sporty Ur-quattro
The A1 Sportback has grown significantly in length – with an additional 56 millimetres, it now measures 4.03 meters. Its width has remained almost the same at 1.74 meters. The new-generation model – including aerial – is only 1.43 meters high. The wide track and short overhangs provide for a taut, sporty look.
The wide, low-placed Singleframe grille and the implied side air inlets dominate the distinctive front. Below the edge of the hood are three flat slits – an homage to the Sport quattro, the brand’s rally icon from 1984.
The new A1 Sportback also emphasizes a resemblance to the Audi Ur-quattro and Sport quattro when viewed from the side: The wide, flat sloping C-pillar seems to push the car forward even while standing still.
All lines on the flanks, from the window edge to the sill, slope upward toward the rear in a wedge shape. The distinctively highlighted wheels and the low shoulder line in between give the A1 Sportback a solid stance on the road.
With S line equipment, Audi has emphasized the sporty character even more through numerous features. These include, for example, larger air inlets, additional sill trims, an elongated slit centrally below the hood with two fins and the larger rear wing. The top-of-the-line engine is also recognizable with its striking twin tailpipes.
The Edition model, based on the S line equipment line and available from market launch, is particularly distinctive. It impressively showcases the design language of the A1 with numerous contrasts. Large 18-inch wheels in bronze – white or black depending on the exterior finish – set powerful accents. The Audi rings in foil on the side of the car are also available in the rim colour. Borrowing from the legendary Audi Sport quattro, the LED headlights and LED rear lights are dark-tinted. The Audi rings in the Singleframe and the model designation at the rear are in black.
Freely combinable: the equipment lines
A new feature in the A1 Sportback is the modular lines structure. This provides for a particularly high degree of flexibility. For the first time, customers can combine exterior and interior lines however they like. Depending on the equipment line – basic, advanced or S line – the attachments on the exterior are available in various configurations. The black styling package sets additional accents.
By offering the lines “Interior advanced,” “Interior design selection” and “Interior S line,” Audi is additionally affording customers numerous possibilities to select colours and materials accordingly.
New look: the interior design
“The sportiest interior in the compact class,” that was the stated aim of the design. The interior is accordingly driver-focused, with its emotive, customizable design. All of the controls and the optional MMI touch display are strongly driver-oriented thus emphasizing the distinctive cockpit character.
The display and the air vent strip on the front passenger side are integrated in black glass look. The optional contour and ambient lighting package brings the interior design to life in the dark, if desired, through LED light elements in 30 selectable colours.
More space and comfort: the space concept
The new A1 Sportback is much more spacious – making life much more comfortable for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. Despite the compact exterior dimensions and the sporty roofline adults in the rear seats still enjoy plenty of head and leg room.
Luggage capacity has increased by 65 litres. Normal capacity is 335 litres; with the rear seats folded down, this increases to 1,090 litres. Loading sill height is a comfortably low 67 centimetres.
Fully digital: operation and display
The new Audi A1 Sportback is fit for the digital future.
Even the basic version comes standard with a fully digital instrument cluster with a high-resolution, 10.25-inch display and a multifunction steering wheel. The optional Audi virtual cockpit with an extended range of functions presents comprehensive information in the driver’s direct field of vision.
Fully connected and always up to date: Infotainment and Audi connect
The Infotainment concept in the new A1 Sportback comes from the full-size class. The MMI radio comes as standard – it can be operated via the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel and the display in the fully digital instrument cluster. In the top configuration, MMI navigation plus offers a 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen, which blends seamlessly into the black glass look area.
In conjunction with Audi connect, MMI navigation plus offers A1 Sportback drivers functions such as hybrid route guidance – this calculates the route in the cloud, taking into account the entire traffic situation. The Audi smartphone interface ensures you are always well connected on board the new A1 Sportback. It 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.
Safety first: the driver assistance systems
The driver assistance systems for the Audi A1 Sportback also come from the full-size class. They keep the compact car at the right distance from the car ahead, making it easier for the driver to maintain the lane and help him with parking.
The standard lane departure warning helps the driver to keep the car in the lane from a speed of 65 km/h (40.4 mph). Also standard is the speed limiter, which reliably prevents the
A1 Sportback from exceeding a selected maximum speed. Another standard feature is Audi pre sense front. The radar sensor recognizes critical situations involving other vehicles, crossing pedestrians or cyclists ahead of the vehicle. The system then gives an acoustic and visual signal to warn the driver. The adaptive speed assist, which is also radar-based, keeps the Audi A1 Sportback at the desired distance from the vehicle ahead.
The new Audi A1 Sportback offers various systems to make parking easier. For the first time there is a reversing camera in addition to the rear parking system. The front ultrasonic sensors of the system recognize objects in front of the car and emit acoustic and visual warnings. The park assist system steers the A1 Sportback parallel and horizontally into parking spaces.
Sporty, poised tuning: the suspension
The axle design of the new Audi A1 Sportback delivers agile handling and a sporty, poised driving experience. Besides the basic suspension, there is an option for a tauter sports suspension. Dynamic packages, individually configured for every engine version, bundle equipment options to give the A1 Sportback an even sportier trim.
For the entry-level gasoline engine, the “Basis” dynamic package includes a sports suspension, red brake callipers and larger brake discs. Audi offers the “Performance” dynamic package for the other engine versions. This also includes red brake callipers and larger brake discs as well as a suspension with adjustable dampers, a sound actuator and Audi drive select.
Can be ordered from summer 2018
The new Audi A1 Sportback can be ordered from summer 2018 and will launch on the European market in fall 2018. Prices in Germany start at less than 20,000 euros.