The Angry new Audi A1 is Sharper, More Intense and Full of Tech
The new Audi A1 may be the angriest small car ever. Not only is it the opposite of cute, adorable or whatever, but its build has undoubtedly been heavily influenced by some of the maddest Audi cars from history. In its press release, Audi mentioned Ur-Quattro and Sport Quattro five times which are clear innuendos about their newest small car. It should be a dynamic masterpiece rooted in the success stories of amazing Audi rally racers from yesteryear. Throwing so many “Quattro” signs around led me to think that they actually launched a version with Quattro AWD, but I was wrong. They did not. At least not yet.
With The Design Cues of Legends
Compared with the first gen car, the new Audi A1 feels sharper, crisper and better defined.
Built on top of the Volkswagen Group modular platform MQB A0, the new 2019 Audi A1 assuredly takes the jam and honey from this technology bracket. This means that its brothers in arms (the Polo, the Ibiza and the Fabia) frankly already look and feel a bit outdated (if not even spartan) compared to it.
The design of the new car evokes some spirits of the past. Its designers worked hard to integrate classic touches without ruining its modern flair. This led to the integration of three slits above the front grille - a throwback to the Audi Sport Quattro. For me, the most obvious touch of rally heritage is that sharp and tenaciously sloped C pillar. It fantastically complements the sporty aura of the car and definitely invokes the vitality that the Ur Quattro and especially the Sport Quattro gave to the world. Finally, tinted rear lights give the mini Audi a dramatic seethe.
The most obvious touch of rally heritage is that sharp and tenaciously sloped C pillar
Compared with the first gen car, the new Audi A1 feels sharper, crisper and better defined. It is only a five-door now (as its brothers,) but this doesn’t cramp on its ritzy flamboyant expression. Clearly, the cars you can see on the photos are of the highest magnitudes of order in the Audi A1 line up. With a massive single-frame grille looking like a mini grille from the latest Q8, the Ingolstadt mini car seems far more courageous than before. Now with more centimeters in length (4.03 meters), more in width (1.74 meters) and a tad less in height (1.74 meters), the A1’s confidence surged past the unwritten barriers of small car limits. This is clearly evident at the front end with massive intake openings and at the back with a diffuser, and dark 3D LED lights. Front lights are also rather impressive. Audi would say that “optional full-LED lights echo the dynamic wing shapes from sailing, known as hydrofoil.” I’d say that these light units will be really expensive.
It is Bigger Inside and Out
The central console is slightly directed towards the driver
Growing in size brought some obvious benefits. First of all, Audi lengthened the wheelbase by striking 9 centimeters. With more real estate inside the cabin, Audi A1 boot increased to rather impressive 335 liters of capacity. Furthermore, room for occupants is more plentiful than ever. Even for those at the back. Don’t think for a second that the sporty tone of the outside has been relinquished for interior comfort. “The sportiest interior in the compact class” is the motto by which the designers and ergonomists were led when designing the cabin.
And it shows.
With more real estate inside the cabin, Audi A1 boot increased to rather impressive 335 liters of capacity
The central console is slightly directed towards the driver. It features a 10.1-inch display in the S Line trim (8.8 inches for the Advanced and no display for the Base). Underneath, one can find climate controls, controls for driving aids, and a Drive Select button. But the most impressive cabin component has to be the all-digital instrument cluster. It will be a standard fit for all Audi A1 cars and, while more colorful compared to what one may find in the A6 or even the A4, it definitely offers the same in terms of functionality and convenience. With cool three-spoke steering wheel designs, the sporty character of the Audi A1 comes into its own.
Will it Drive as Confidently as it Looks?
If one opts for the top trim and selects all optional boxes, the new A1 can be equipped with adaptive damping, sports suspension, drive select to choose between three suspension options, and 18-inch wheels
It definitely should. If one opts for the top trim and selects all optional boxes, the new A1 can be equipped with adaptive damping, sports suspension, drive select to choose between three suspension options, and 18-inch wheels. This alone should make it capable enough to tackle the best of the class. Throw in the top-notch 2.0-liter TFSI, which comes in the A1 50 TFSI model, and you have yourself a 197 horsepower hot-hatch with a six-speed S Tronic transmission. If this is not enough, go for the Performance package for better braking. This package gives you access to chubbier brakes with bigger discs (312 mm/12.3 in) up front and (272 mm/10.7 in) in the rear.
Other models include the A1 35 TFSI, the A1 30 TFSI, and the A1 25 TFSI. The 35 TFSI comes with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 148 horsepower and a cylinder deactivation system. In short, it will cut combustion in two cylinders under light throttle thus lowering consumption and emissions. The 30 TFSI and the 25 TFSI are powered by the latest turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder with 114 horsepower and 94 horsepower, respectively. Obviously, I have not mentioned diesel. They will not be available.
The 30 TFSI and the 25 TFSI are powered by the latest turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder with 114 horsepower and 94 horsepower, respectively
What is available is a complement of driving assistance systems and advanced tech including:
- Lane departure warning
- Pre-collision warning with automatic emergency braking
- Adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a stop
- Automatic mitigation with pre-sense radar tech able to recognize cars, cyclists, and pedestrians
- Reversing camera
- Automatic parking system and more
What About the Audi S1?
The current Audi S1 Sportback can crack 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. That’s with 231 horsepower and an AWD system. The new S1 will undoubtedly be produced. Some even suggest in 2019 with a 2.0-liter, 250-horsepower engine, and an AWD system. Now, this car will know how to proudly present all of the Ur Quattro and Sport Quattro design causes. It will be one of the maddest small cars out there. All with larger brakes, a more prominent exterior sport package, and stiffer suspension.
The new Audi A1 will offer the true Audi experience to younger buyers
The new Audi A1 will offer the true Audi experience to younger buyers. Audi plans to bring in new customers by offering a package more appealing than your usual small car, but not as niche-oriented as the likes of the Mini Cooper.
In that regard, they topped the A1 with tech, offered appealingly powerful engines and a myriad of personalization options (two-tone body, up to 30 different hue options, numerous interior makeup options and the like.) Despite all that, the Audi A1 feels grown up and serious – Especially if you take into account the smart style throwback to motorsport legends and its top S Line model with a powerful 2.0-liter engine.
Read our full review on the previous generation Audi A1.
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