Audi’s pint-sized A1 premium mini has been a relative success for the German luxury carmaker. Launched in 2010, it has fared well against competitors both under its price range like the VW Polo as well as more direct rivals such as the MINI 5-door hatch.
However time has come for its replacement and, luckily for us, recent spy shots have caught it virtually undisguised. So let’s put on a digital coat of paint and take a closer look at what the subcompact hatch will look like when it launched later this year.
More aggressive styling, possibly 5-door only
First impressions are that the new A1 is shapelier and more aggressive-looking compared to its predecessor. Frontal styling consists of Audi’s trademark large grille with slim headlamps, crisp detailing and large frontal intakes (in S-line format).
The side profile consists of scalloped lower sill moldings, subtle rear haunches, a two-tone roof with thick c-pillar and no rear quarter window. Speaking of the rear; it features Honda Jazz/Fit-like lower bumper cutouts and chiseled LED tail lights.
Unlike the current model that gets a three-door body-style as well, the new A1 is rumored to be available exclusively in five-door Sportback form.
Under the skin
One weakness of the current car is its cramped back seat accommodation. Fortunately, this will be rectified, with the A1 riding on the same MQB platform shared with Volkswagen’s new Polo. While the car will grow slightly in dimensions, it’ll also be torsionally stiffer, aiding in refinement and handling.
Occupants can also expect higher quality cabin materials and features like Virtual Cockpit display, 4G LTE connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Driver assist systems will feature heavily in the form of AEB (autonomous emergency braking) with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control (ACC), Park Assist, speed limiter, blindspot monitoring and rear traffic alert.
Powering the all-new A1 will be a range of pint-size turbocharged engines. These start with a turbocharged, 1.0-litre three-cylinder TFSI delivering up to 113hp, followed by a turbocharged, 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol unit with 148hp. However if you want some serious mumbo, wait for the S1 version and its turbocharged, 2.0-litre four-cylinder pumping out close to 250hp.
Rumor has the 1.6-litre diesel possibly being shelved due to falling diesel sales. However, a natural gas option as well as some form of electrification may take its place. Power will be put to the front wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch S tronic transmission or a six-speed manual. All-wheel drive will be optional across more variants, too.
By default, the A1 sits alone in the luxury supermini segment. Neither Mercedes-Benz or BMW (excluding MINI, of course) have a direct rival to it. However, that doesn’t mean you should discount the likes of Citroen’s DS 3, Alfa Romeo MiTo, Seat Ibiza, Ford Fiesta Vignale and its VW Group stablemate – the Volkswagen Polo.
Expect an official reveal of the 5-door, Sportback-only A1 later this year, possibly at the Paris Motor Show in October.
Does the new-look Audi A1 look do it for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.