New 2019 A1 Sportback Audi has just revealed the second generation of the A1, now available only in five-door Sportback form.
Like the latest Volkswagen Polo, with which it shares the same basic MQB A0 platform and architecture, Audi’s new A1 only comes in five-door Sportback format. Significantly larger, though, than its predecessor – with an additional 56 mm (2.2 inches) in length, the new A1 measures 4.03 metres (13.2 ft.), although the width has remained almost the same at 1.74metres (5.7 ft.) and it is only 1.41 metres (4.6 ft.) in height (1.43 metres including aerial).
‘THE NEW A1 SPORTBACK ALSO COMES WITH AWIDE RANGE OF DRIVER ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS…’
With a longer wheelbase, it also has more space inside for the driver and passengers, with plenty of headroom and legroom for adults in the rear seats. Luggage capacity has also been improved by 65 litres (2.3 cu.ft.) with a standard volume of 335 litres, increasing to 1090 litres with the rear seats folded, and the loading sill height is a conveniently low 67 cm (2.2 ft.).
‘WITH S LINE EQUIPMENT, AUDI HAS EMPHASISED THE SPORTY CHARACTER EVEN MORE…’
With a wide track and short overhangs providing a taut, sporty look, the front end is dominated by a wide, low-placed Single-frame grille with side air inlets (albeit non-functional) and below the leading edge of the bonnet are three horizontal slits – said to be an homage to the Sport quattro, the brand’s rally icon from 1984.
Other styling features, also said to resemble the Audi Ur-quattro in profile, include the wide, flat sloping C-pillar and the roof contrast line, which is available in two dark colours, ending above the C-pillar to give the impression that the roof is flatter and the whole car is even lower-slung. All lines on the flanks, from the window edge to the sill, slope upward toward the rear in a wedge shape while the distinctive wheel arches with the low shoulder line in between provide a solid stance on the road. A low line between the edges of the wheelarches draws the visual focal point downward even further.
With S line equipment, Audi has emphasised the sporty character even more with larger air inlets, additional sill trims, an elongated slit centrally below the bonnet with two fins and the larger rear spoiler, while the higher powered engines are also distinguished by having twin tailpipes.
‘THE NEW A1 SPORTBACK IS AVAILABLE IN A CHOICE OF 10 COLOURS, WHILE THE ROOF CAN BE OPTIONALLY FINISHED IN A CONTRASTING COLOUR…’
Distinctive daytime running light graphics of the optional full-LED lights echo the dynamic wing shapes used in sailing, known as hydrofoils, and a dynamic segmentation motif also features in the rear lights to provide instantly recognisable light graphics, encased in the striking 3D geometry of the lens. The seamless light pattern of the graphics in the dark constitutes a remarkable feature of the two-part rear lights.
The new A1 Sportback is available in a choice of 10 colours, while the roof can be optionally finished in a contrasting colour from the A-pillar to the roof edge spoiler. The door mirror housings, the side front spoiler lips and the side sills are also available in a contrasting colour.
The Edition model, based on the S line equipment line and available from market launch, is particularly distinctive. It comes with 18-inch alloy wheels in bronze, white or black depending on the exterior finish, with the Audi rings on the side of the car also available in the same colour as the rims. The LED headlights and LED rear lights are dark-tinted and the Audi four rings on the Single-frame grille and the model designation on the tailgate are finished in black.
The body of the new 2019 Audi A1 Sportback includes components made out of hot formed steel that form the backbone of the passenger cell. The rigid bodyshell and precise construction guarantee sporty precise driving and the absence of intrusive noise on board. With a frontal area of 2.07 sq.m. (22.3 sq.ft.) and a drag coefficient of 0.31, the new A1 Sportback has good aerodynamic efficiency.
The new Audi A1 Sportback will come with a choice of powerful and fuel-efficient turbocharged direct-injection petrol engines, with outputs ranging from 95 PS (70 kW) and 118 PS (86 kW) versions of the 3-cylinder 1.0-litre through 150 PS (110 kW) four-cylinder 1.5-litre to the range-topping 200 PS (147 kW) 2.0-litre TFSI. All will have a GPF particulate filter as standard. No diesel engines are currently envisaged. All are front-wheel drive only, with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or the 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission, except for the highest powered engine which has a 6-speed S tronic transmission as standard. Inevitably, speculation has already begun about a high-powered four-wheel-drive S1 version for the future.
The new Audi A1 Sportback promises agile handling from a combination of MacPherson coil spring front suspension and a compact, lightweight torsion beam axle at the rear. As well as the standard set-up, there is also the option of firmer sport suspension. A range of stylish alloy wheels will be available, from15 up to 18 inches in diameter.
A basic dynamic package for the entry-level petrol version includes sport suspension, red brake callipers and larger brake discs. A Performance dynamic package for the other engine versions will include red brake callipers and larger brake discs, as well as adjustable dampers, a sound actuator and Audi drive select. This is also available as an option, enabling drivers to select from four modes that influence the driving characteristics: auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual.
For the first time, customers can specify any combination of exterior and interior lines. Depending on the equipment line – basic, advanced or S line – the exterior features are available in various configurations, with the black styling package setting additional accents. By offering the lines ‘Interior advanced,’ ‘Interior design selection’ and ‘Interior S line’ Audi is providing customers with numerous possibilities for colours and materials.
The stated aim of the designers was to produce ‘the sportiest interior in the compact class’, with a driver-focused, emotive and customisable design. It features a compact unit of air vent nozzles, hood and digital instrument cluster, with all controls and the optional MMI touch display biased heavily towards the driver.
The display and the air vent strip on the front passenger side are integrated into an area in black glass look, with the optional contour and ambient lighting package bringing the interior design to life in the dark if desired by using LED light elements in 30 selectable colours.
Digital operation and display
Even the basic version comes as standard With a multifunction steering wheel and has a fully digital instrument cluster with a high-resolution, 10.25-inch display, while an extended range of functions provided by the optional Audi virtual cockpit includes comprehensive and diverse information such as animated navigation maps and graphics for some driver assistance systems.
Infotainment and Audi connect
The infotainment concept in the New A1 Sportback provides the MMI radio as standard, operated using the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel and the display in the fully digital instrument cluster.
In the highest configuration, MMI navigation plus offers a 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen, which blends seamlessly into the black glass-look area. As with a smartphone, all commands are made using touch input or the latest generation of voice control.
In conjunction with Audi connect, MMI navigation plus offers functions such as hybrid route guidance which calculates the route in the cloud, taking into account the entire traffic situation. Additional highlights are the satellite map view and the new 3D city models, which offer a precise-map view of many urban centres, with up to four map updates per year automatically downloaded and installed free of charge. The customer can also use the versatile online services from Audi connect.
The Audi smartphone interface integrates iOS and Android smartphones using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into an environment in the MMI programmed specifically for them, and offers two USB interfaces (1x USB-A, 1x USB-C with increased charging current). Another option, the Audi phone box, ensures improved reception quality with LTE support and charges the smartphone inductively using wireless charging according to the Qi standard. The new A1 is also available with DAB radio, Audi sound system and the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System which drives 11 speakers with an output of 560 watts. Its 3D effect uses the inside of the windscreen as a reflecting surface.
Driver assistance systems
The new A1 Sportback also comes with a wide range of driver assistance systems, to keep it at the right distance from the car ahead, making it easier for the driver to maintain the lane and to help with parking.
The standard lane departure warning helps to keep the car in the lane from a speed of 65 kph (40 mph) while the speed limiter reliably prevents the A1 Sportback from exceeding a selected Maximum speed.
Also standard is Audi pre sense front which uses radar to recognise critical situations involving other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists ahead of the vehicle, even in poor visibility, giving an acoustic and visual signal to warn the driver.
It also prepares for a possible full brake application and can initiate automatic emergency braking in order to prevent an imminent collision or reduce its impact, with the front seat belts tensioned, windows closed and hazard warning lights automatically switched on.
Also radar-based is the adaptive speed assist, which keeps the car at the desired distance from the vehicle ahead. With S tronic, the system covers a speed range of 0 to 200 kph (124mph), with manual transmission the range begins at 30 kph (18mph). In stop-and go traffic, the A1 Sportback with S tronic transmission brakes to a standstill and will automatically resume driving when conditions allow.
Various systems are available to make parking easier, using a reversing camera in addition to the rear parking system. Ultrasonic sensors recognise objects in front and emit acoustic and visual warnings, while the latest version of park assist can also park the A1 Sportback forwards into perpendicular parking spaces, manoeuvreing several times if necessary, as well as steering the A1 into and out of parallel parking spaces.
With the order books open this summer the new A1 will launch on the European market in the autumn, with prices in Germany expected to start at less than €20,000. Suggestions are that it will be priced from around £16,500 when it arrives here in the UK later in the year.
‘FOR THE FIRST TIME, CUSTOMERS CAN SPECIFY ANY COMBINATION OF EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR LINES WITH NUMEROUS POSSIBILITIES FOR COLOURS AND MATERIALS…’