Information about the all-new Audi A1, Ingolstadt’s smallest car, has been leaked online, and, well, it isn’t so small anymore.
The new car is underpinned by Volkswagen Group’s MQB A0 platform, which it shares with the new VW Polo and Seat Ibiza. This means that it comes exclusively as a five-door hatchback that’s over four metres long.
Still, the Audi A1 seems to have managed its growth spurt with quite a bit of grace. Both front and rear lights are pointy and angry-looking, aping much of the design language seen on the Audi Q8 SUV. There’s a big, wide grille, and angular air splitters on the S-Line models. All of which combine to make a tidy-looking little hatchback.
As we said, though, it’s not that little anymore. That new platform means there’s loads more space in the rear, plus an extra 65 litres of boot space. And with the the rear seats folded down, you should be looking at a veritable van of a hatchback.
The new Audi A1 comes with new engines, too. At the bottom of the range will be a 1.0-litre three-cylinder developing 94 bhp. There’ll also be a 1.5-litre four-cylinder, and a range-topping 2.0-litre four-cylinder developing 197 bhp. That should be pretty lively in a car the size of a shoe. Whichever one you choose, though, you’re getting front-wheel-drive.
In Europe, a six-speed manual gearbox will come as standard, but we reckon Audi won’t even bother bringing that to the Middle East. Here, we’ll get a seven-speed S-tronic automatic – except on the 40 TFSI model with 197 bhp, which will get a six-speed S-tronic as standard.
Oh, and we’re told that an S1 will be launched in 2019. That’ll apparently pack a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit developing 250 bhp, with power going to all four wheels.
If you’re prepared to spend a little bit more, you can spec adaptive dampers and sports suspension, signaling that Audi wants the new A1 to be a fun little racer. No doubt Ingolstadt has its eyes on Mini, whose standard hatchback does double the sales of the A1.
The Audi A1’s new interior should definitely help with that. While it’s not quite up to the level of the new A8, it looks properly marvelous – especially for a car in this segment. There’s a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster housing Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, plus a 10.1-inch screen above the centre console in top models. Even lesser models get an 8.8-inch centre console screen as standard. Naturally, you get Apply CarPlay and Android Auto.
And that’s all housed what looks like a tidy, clean and upmarket interior. We’re told you can customise certain parts of the trim to match the exterior body colour (if Fiat can do it with the 500, why not?).
There’s loads of other tech available, too. It comes with an LTE antenna to boost your phone’s internet signal via the aerial, and the sat-nav system is Internet-connected and linked to Google Maps. You can spec a 560W Bang & Olufsen 11-speaker stereo, which is “unrivalled” in this segment, according to Audi.
The new Audi A1 also comes with plenty of driver assistance tech. There’s pre-sense technology that’ll recognise cars, bikes or pedestrians in low-visibility scenarios, and apply the brakes automatically. There’s also adaptive cruise control and an automatic parking system.
Prices are unannounced as of yet, but the new Audi A1 will almost certainly be more expensive than its predecessor. We’d reckon on a starting price of around AED 80,000, which will likely climb very quickly once you start factoring in those options.
Still, we’re rather taken aback by how much of a good job Audi looks to have done on the new A1. What do you think? More pics below.