With its sharp yet clean lines, balanced proportions and distinctive detailing the A1 already cuts an imposing figure on the road which belies its size. The latest versions of the three-door and five-door Sportback build on this with the help of a new flatter and wider singleframe grille, new bumpers, new standard alloy wheel designs and a choice of new colours.
Powering the first UK-bound versions of these new models will be a choice of two TFSI petrol engines or a TDI diesel which are now compliant with the latest EU6 emissions regulations and which offer more power, improved economy and in the majority of cases lower emissions than their predecessors. The petrol duo comprises two versions of the turbocharged 1.4-litre TFSI; the ‘standard' unit with power up from 122 PS to 125 PS and CO2 down from 124 g/km to 115 g and the 'Cylinder-on-Demand' alternative now offering 150 PS with CO2 output of 112 g/km.
The 1.6 TDI retains its place as the efficiency trailblazer in the range, with CO2 output in this latest version reduced from 99 g/km to 92 g/km in both body styles and economy potential increased from 74.3 mpg to up to 80.7 mpg according to the combined cycle test.
In the spring of 2015 a new turbocharged and directly injected petrol engine (the first with a three-cylinder configuration ever to feature in the Audi range) will become available in the UK, and will come closer than ever to achieving TDI-style frugality. Provisional data for the A1 1.0 TFSI indicates that it will be capable of returning at least 60 mpg with CO2 emissions of 99g/km, yet with 95 PS (a 6 PS increase over the 1.2 TFSI that it replaces) is said to also deliver suitably peppy performance.
Depending on version, all engines will be linked to either a five-speed or six-speed manual transmission as standard, and for the first time all, including the 1.6 TDI, will also be available with the option of a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch automatic transmission.
As before, the SE, Sport and S line specification levels that make up the latest UK range feature specific suspension set-ups. SE versions run on more comfort-oriented dynamic suspension, Sport models have a firmer sports configuration which has been revised to increase its absorbency and S line versions ride even lower on S line sports suspension. Customers choosing the Sport option can dial back to the even more supple dynamic suspension at no cost if preferred, and the set-up in S line versions can also be taken back one or two steps to either the 'standard' sports suspension or the dynamic suspension, also at no cost.
Alternatively, to extract every last ounce of agility, control and composure available from this accomplished chassis a new suspension option including adjustable dampers is also now available for Sport models and above.
The steering has also received an upgrade as part of the package of improvements for the latest range. The new electromechanical system provides the driver with optimal assistance in all driving situations, reducing its assistance as vehicle speed increases.
Both the steering and the optional suspension with adjustable damping are controllable via the Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, which is a new standard feature for A1 Sport models upwards. It allows the driver to vary the weighting or the damping characteristics across three modes (auto, dynamic and efficiency) and it can also adjust the operating parameters of the engine and the S tronic transmission, where this is fitted.
Features common to all versions include alloy wheels, remote central locking, air conditioning, electric front windows and mirrors and a six-speaker single CD audio system with auxiliary iPod connection linked to a 6.5-inch retractable display. A secondary collision brake assist system also now joins this list for the latest range, which can initiate automatic braking to reduce the risks of skidding and additional collisions during an accident.
The latest Sport models now include Audi drive select plus the Audi Music Interface and preparation for SD card-based navigation, and already featured upgrades such as larger 16-inch wheels, sports suspension, sports seats, Bluetooth mobile phone preparation and a Driver's Information System
On top of this, S line versions now benefit from standard xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, further enhancing an additional specification which already included 17-inch alloy wheels, exclusive S line exterior styling and interior detailing, S line sports suspension and leather and cloth combination upholstery.20 Audi A1 e-tron models now in Munich
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