Rumors about a possible Audi A1 Convertible were circulating even before Audi dropped the standard A1 hatchback on the market, but now British magazine Autocar is offering the first real details on the future model. According to Audi boss, Rupert Stadler, a full-blown cabriolet version of the A1 won’t be offered because it will be too expensive. However, Audi sources have confirmed that a semi-open-air version of the compact hatchback will indeed be offered.
Audi has already provided an early design study of the three-door A1, with a retractable cloth roof panel. Of course, this step has sparked many speculations. It is believed that the new A1 Cabrio will feature a "large, electric-powered cloth panel, covering an area described as being up to 80% of the total roof area." The roof will be opened at the push of a button and it will automatically retract back and be gathered in above the rear hatch.
Like the future Polo, the A1 will be built on an all-new platform. This means it will also be offered with the DSG transmission.
The A1 Convertible will be offered with the same engines as the A1 hatchback version: those from the TDI and FSI ranges. TSI and TFSI are expensive and performance orientated, which makes them less likely to be offered for the new Audi base model. Rumors also talk about a future hybrid version.
The design will be inspired by that of the 2005 Audi Shooting Brake concept, especially in the rear. Two or four doors will be offered for passenger access plus an extra door for the generously sized trunk. The general look of the car will be a sporty and dynamic one, a match for the already announced competitor, the Volvo C30.
Audi Metroproject Quattro Concept
To prove its Audi genes, the A1 will feature the single-frame front grille, a dynamic sideline, large size tires, short consoles and small side windows. Besides the hatchback, a roadster and a cabriolet are also considered to expand the A1 range.
The A1 will consistently cheaper than the A3 with prices ranging between $16,000-20,000. The cost reduction can be achieved due to the use of the new platform with a semi-rigid rear axle, a lot cheaper than the multi-link. In addition, the body will be made from steel, not aluminum, as used in the A2, further reducing production costs.