THE second-generation Audi A1 has been officially revealed, showing off a compact German luxury hatchback that is now longer and more striking to look at, and packing turbo-petrol engines and technology.
Exterior styling for the all-new Mini hatch fighter aligns the A1 with other models from Ingolstadt, while three horizontal slits between the grill and bonnet pay homage to the original 1984 Quattro.
Built on the VW group’s MQB A0 platform, shared with group sibling the Volkswagen Polo, the A1 will be sold only in five-door form. Exterior dimensions have grown, and it now measures in at four metres long, with much of that extra stretch giving rear-seat occupants more room.
Luggage space has also increased by 65 litres to a seats-up capacity of 335 litres – this expands to 1090 litres with the rear seats folded down.
This time around, though, and in the wake of Dieselgate, there won’t be any diesel engines. Instead the A1 will have one of three turbocharged petrol units fitted behind its snout.
Buyers in Europe will have a choice of either a 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with the latter making up to 147kW. An entry-level 70kW 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder will also be available.
While a six-speed manual gearbox is standard, it’s highly likely most A1s sold in Australia will be fitted with the seven-speed automatic gearbox. However, the most powerful 2.0-litre 40 TFSI model will come equipped with a six-speed automatic as standard.
Inside, a 10.25-inch all-digital ‘virtual cockpit’ instrument cluster is standard for all models, along with an 8.8-inch centre touchscreen infotainment unit (with the exception of the entry-level model, which loses the central unit). This dash-mounted screen grows to a 10.1-inch unit for flagship models.
The A8 limousine’s touch-operated handwriting recognition software has trickled into the A1, along with more advanced voice control tech. Other infotainment features include an internet-connected location search, including Google's search engine or Google Maps.
A choice of two sound systems will be offered, with the more powerful option being a 560 watt Bang and Olufsen 11-speaker set-up.
Audi will also fit a full suite of safety features as standard, including pre-sense radar tech, radar adaptive cruise control, and a lane departure warning system.
Wheel options range in size from between 15 and 18 inches. Different exterior and interior styling packs will be also offered.
A more potent, all-wheel-drive S1, due in 2019, is also expected.
Australian pricing and specifications are yet to be confirmed.
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