Audi has today unveiled the new A1 and A1 Sportback. Originally launched in 2010, the latest range, the first examples of which will reach the UK next spring, features moderate exterior and interior styling revisions, specification upgrades and new or improved engines, including in the longer term the first ever three-cylinder petrol unit in the Audi range.
Design changes include a new flatter and wider singleframe grille, new bumpers and new standard alloy wheel designs.
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 Audi claims offer more power, better 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 120 bhp to 123 bhp and CO2 down from 124 g/km to 115 g/km and the ‘Cylinder-on-Demand’ alternative now offering 148 bhp with CO2 output of 112 g/km.
The latest version of the 1.6 TDI, meanwhile, sees its CO2 output reduced from 99 g/km to 92 g/km in both body styles and economy 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. Provisional data for the A1 1.0 TFSI indicates that it will be capable of returning 60 mpg with CO2 emissions of 99 g/km, yet with 94 bhp – a 6 bhp increase over the 1.2 TFSI that it replaces.
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 Audi engineers say has been revised to increase its absorbency and S line versions ride even lower on S line sports suspension.
The steering has also received an upgrade as part of the package of improvements for the latest range, featuring a new electromechanical system
The S1 and S1 Sportback with 228 bhp and quattro permanent all‑wheel drive remain as the performance flagships of the new range. Their 2.0 TFSI engine produces 228 bhp and 272.9 lb-ft of torque, enabling the three-door version to go from rest to 62 mph in 5.8 seconds (Sportback 5.9) and to reach a top speed of 155 mph.