Exterior design: Striking, masculine with genes of the sporty Ur-quattro
The A1 Sportback has grown significantly in length – with an additional 56 millimeters (2.2 in), it now measures 4.03 meters (13.2 ft). At the same time, the width has remained almost the same at 1.74 (5.7 ft) meters. The new-generation model is only 1.41 meters (4.6 ft) in height – including aerial, the car is 1.43 meters (4.7 ft) tall. The wide track and short overhangs provide for a taut, sporty look. The wide, low-placed Singleframe grille and the implied side air inlets dominate the distinctive front. Below the edge of the hood are three flat slits – an homage to the Sport quattro, the brand’s rally icon from 1984.
The new A1 Sportback also emphasizes a resemblance to the Audi Ur-quattro and Sport quattro when viewed from the side: The wide, flat sloping C-pillar seems to push the car forward even while standing still. The roof contrast line, which is available in two dark colors, ends above the C-pillar. This gives the impression that the roof is flatter and the complete 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. The distinctively highlighted wheels and the low shoulder line in between give the A1 Sportback a solid stance on the road. The low line between the fender edges draws the visual focal point downward even further.
With S line equipment, Audi has emphasized the sporty character even more through numerous features. These include larger air inlets, additional sill trims, an elongated slit centrally below the hood with two fins and the larger rear wing. The top-of-the-line engine is also recognizable with its striking twin tailpipes.
The distinctive daytime running light graphics of the optional full-LED lights echo the dynamic wing shapes from sailing, known as hydrofoils. The design of the shutters for the main light functions also draws inspiration from sailing. The wing segments on the flanks create an impression of maximum width. A low-set, concentrated look in conjunction with the small rhombus segments in the top section of the headlights provides a sporty appearance.
The dynamic segmentation motif also features in the rear lights to reinforce the instant recognizability of the A1 light graphics. It is 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 ten colors. The roof of the compact model can be optionally finished in a contrasting color from the A-pillar to the roof edge spoiler. The exterior mirror housings, the side front spoiler lips and the side sills are also available in a contrasting color.
The Edition model, based on the S line equipment line and available from market launch, is particularly distinctive. It impressively showcases the design language of the A1 with numerous contrasts. Large 18-inch wheels in bronze, white or black depending on the exterior finish, set powerful accents. The Audi rings in foil on the side of the car are also available in the rim color. Borrowing from the legendary Audi Sport quattro, the LED headlights and LED rear lights are dark-tinted. The Audi rings in the Singleframe and the model designation on the back are black.
Freely combinable: the equipment lines
A new feature in the A1 Sportback is the modular lines structure. This provides for a particularly high degree of flexibility. For the first time, customers can combine exterior and interior lines however they like.
Depending on the equipment line – basic, advanced or S line – the attachments on the exterior are available in various configurations. The black styling package sets additional accents. By offering the lines “Interior advanced,” “Interior design selection” and “Interior S line,” Audi is additionally affording customers numerous possibilities to select colors and materials accordingly.
New look: the interior design
“The sportiest interior in the compact class,” that was the stated aim of the design. The interior is accordingly driver-focused, with its emotive, customizable design. The eye is drawn in particular to the sporty compact unit of air vent nozzles, hood and the digital instrument cluster. All of the controls and the optional MMI touch display are strongly driver-oriented thus emphasizing the special cockpit character.
The display and the air vent strip on the front passenger side are integrated into an area in black glass look. The optional contour and ambient lighting package brings the interior design to life in the dark if desired through LED light elements in 30 selectable colors.
More space and comfort: the space concept
The new A1 Sportback is much more spacious – making life much more comfortable for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. Despite the compact exterior dimensions and the sporty roof line, adults in the rear seats still enjoy plenty of head and leg room.
Luggage capacity has increased by 65 liters (2.3 cu ft). Normal capacity is 335 liters (11.8 cu ft); with the rear seats folded down, this increases to 1,090 liters (38.5 cu ft). Loading sill height is a comfortably low 67 centimeters (2.2 ft).
Fully digital: operation and display
The new Audi A1 Sportback is fit for the digital future. Even the basic version comes standard with a fully digital instrument cluster with a high-resolution, 10.25-inch display and a multifunction steering wheel. The optional Audi virtual cockpit with an extended range of functions presents comprehensive and diverse information such as animated navigation maps and graphics of some driver assistance systems in the driver’s direct field of vision.
Fully connected and always up to date: Infotainment and Audi connect
The Infotainment concept in the new A1 Sportback comes from the full-size class. The MMI radio comes as standard – it can be operated via the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel and the display in the fully digital instrument cluster. In the top 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 via touch input. The latest generation of voice control further improves the dialog between driver and car.
In conjunction with Audi connect, MMI navigation plus offers A1 Sportback drivers functions such as hybrid route guidance – this 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 centers. Up to four map updates per year are automatically downloaded and installed free of charge – in addition, the customer can also use the versatile online services from Audi connect.
The Audi smartphone interface ensures you are always well connected on board the new A1 Sportback. It 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, thus ensures improved reception quality with LTE support and charges the smartphone inductively via wireless charging according to the Qi standard.
Music and acoustics aficionados will be pleased to find a Digital Audio Broadcasting tuner, the Audi sound system and the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System. The B&O system drives eleven speakers with an output of 560 watts. Its 3D effect uses the windshield as a reflecting surface.
Safety first: the driver assistance systems
The driver assistance systems for the Audi A1 Sportback also come from the full-size class. They keep the compact car at the right distance from the car ahead, making it easier for the driver to maintain the lane and help with parking.
The standard lane departure warning helps the driver to keep the car in the lane from a speed of 65 km/h (40.4 mph). Also standard is the speed limiter, which reliably prevents the A1 Sportback from exceeding a selected maximum speed.
Another standard feature is Audi pre sense front. The radar sensor recognizes critical situations involving other vehicles, crossing pedestrians or cyclists ahead of the vehicle, even when visibility is poor such as in fog. The system then gives an acoustic and visual signal to warn the driver.
At the same time, it prepares for a possible full brake application and, if necessary, initiates automatic emergency braking in order to prevent an imminent collision or reduce its impact. If necessary, the protective measures of the optional Audi pre sense basic are initiated. The front seat belts are electrically tensioned, the windows are closed and the hazard warning lights are switched on.
The adaptive speed assist is also radar-based. It keeps the Audi A1 Sportback at the desired distance from the vehicle ahead. If the vehicle is equipped with S tronic, the system covers a speed range of 0 to 200 km/h (124.3 mph); with the manual transmission, the range begins at 30 km/h (18.6 mph). In stop-and-go traffic, the A1 Sportback with S tronic transmission brakes to a standstill and gets going again under certain conditions automatically.
The new Audi A1 Sportback offers various systems to make parking easier. For the first time, there is a reversing camera in addition to the rear parking system. The front ultrasonic sensors of the system recognize objects in front of the car and emit acoustic and visual warnings. The park assist system steers the A1 Sportback parallel and horizontally into parking spaces. With the new version of the assistant, the A1 Sportback also parks forward into perpendicular parking spaces, maneuvering multiple times if necessary. The system also exits parallel parking spaces.
Light and particularly robust: the body
The body of the new Audi A1 Sportback includes components made out of hot-formed steel that form the backbone of the passenger cell. The rigid body and exact fits guarantee sportily precise driving and the absence of intrusive noise on board. With a front area of 2.07 sq m (22.3 sq ft) and a drag coefficient of 0.31, the new A1 Sportback offers very little windage.
Powerful and efficient: the engines
Whether running around town or going on a weekend excursion – its powerful engines in particular make driving the new Audi A1 Sportback so much fun. There is a choice of efficient gasoline engines with outputs ranging from 70 kW (95 hp) to 147 kW (200 hp). Turbocharging, direct injection and a particulate filter are standard.
Audi is making a manual transmission or the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission available for all engines. The exception is the top-of-the-range engine, where a six-speed S tronic transmission shifts gear as standard.
Sporty, poised tuning: the suspension
The axle design of the new Audi A1 Sportback delivers agile handling and a sporty, poised driving experience. The front suspension is a McPherson construction; a compact, lightweight torsion beam axle is used at the rear. Besides the basic suspension, there is an option for a tauter sport suspension.
Dynamic packages, individually configured for every engine version, bundle equipment options to give the A1 Sportback an even sportier trim. The “Basis” dynamic package for the entry-level gasoline version includes a sport suspension, red brake calipers and larger brake discs. Audi offers the “Performance” dynamic package for the other engine versions. This also includes red brake calipers and larger brake discs, as well as a suspension with adjustable dampers, a sound actuator and Audi drive select.
The brakes of the new A1 Sportback can be precisely metered and provide a responsive, taut pedal feel. The optional hold assist enhances safety on uphill and downhill slopes by preventing the car from rolling after stopping. Wheels are available in sizes from 15 up to 18 inches.
Four modes for an individual driving sensation: Audi drive select
The new A1 Sportback rolls off the production line with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system as an option. With it, drivers can select from four modes that influence the driving characteristics: auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual.
Can be ordered from summer 2018
The new Audi A1 Sportback can be ordered from summer 2018 and will launch on the European market in fall 2018. Prices in Germany start at less than 20,000 euros.