Audi has finally revealed details on the upcoming overhaul for one of it's most popular models - the A1. There are already some polarising thoughts out there as Audi take a bold direction with the exterior looks and a launch without a diesel engine. The Audi A1 is not only the German manufacturer's smallest car but also it's one of the most popular cars in the stable so there's plenty of interest in this facelift. Let's take a look. If you've had enough already, why not check out our personal car leasing deals!
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The first generation Audi A1 was a very rounded car without sharp straight lines, the rounded design made it appealing for both men and women of all ages. All of that is about to change as Audi brings back some of the Quattro heritage from the eighties, most noticeable in the new grille. The front of the car has new style LED lights which look ultra modern and give it a sophisticated look more akin to the new Q2 than the outgoing A1.
From the side, many people have noticed the similarities between the A1 and the Hyundai i30, particularly the i30N. It's quite difficult to disagree if you put them both side by side. Overall, the A1 is now four meters long and only comes as a sportback, that means no more 3 door variants which we think is a sad day but not surprised as sales for 3 doors in general are on the way down.
Finally, the rear of the car is as big of a change as the front. It looks bulkier, straighter and more aggressive.
The A1's tech has had a major overhaul, aside from the entry level model the A1 comes with a 10.25in instrument cluster with an 8.8in or 10.1in centre console - huge! Other gadgets are enhanced voice control, sat-nav, google maps and search, DAB radio, Apple/Android phone sync and a superior sound system powered by Bang & Olufsen.
For driver assistance you'll get pre-sense radar, cruise control, reversing camera , parking sensor and automatic parking system.
For launch there will be 3 engines, all petrol. 1.0 TFSI with 94 or 114 bhpm a 1.5 TFSI with 148 bhp and lastly a fast 2.0 TFSI automatic 197 bhp egine commonly found in bigger cars such as the Octavia, A3 and Leon. Three engines to cater for most drivers until the inevitable S1 arrives and possibly a diesel at some point.
Built by SEAT
The biggest shock for many commentators is that the new Audi A1 will be built by SEAT at their Martorell plant with many now claiming that the A1 will be 'an overpriced SEAT' but is that true? Not really, SEAT is part of the VAG group meaning your brand new A1 will be every bit as German as it previously was - the SEAT plant is ran by VAG, using VAG parts and blueprints and the car coming out will be very much an Audi. Previously, Martorell built the Q3 at this plant.
Our final thoughts on the new A1 is that it will sell like hot cakes regardless of what it looks like. The Audi A1 has been hailed as an affordable way to get in to a luxury car and the new edition is no different. No diesel engines or 3 door variants is a bold move but it does show where the automotive industry is going as a whole.