Sporty and efficient, youthful and communicative, emotional and individual. A new member of the successful A1 family is scheduled to launch in early 2012 – the five-door Audi A1 Sportback.
The Audi A1 Sportback, which will be rolling into showrooms in early 2012, is the five-door compact Audi for a young, urban public. The close relationship with its three-door sister model is evident in the design, the structure of the lightweight body and the dimensions of the new model, which measures 3.95 meters (12.96 ft) in length. It is several millimeters taller and thus offers more space in the rear seats. The Audi A1 Sportback comes standard with four seats. A fifth seat is available on request at no extra charge.
Buyers can choose between three TFSI gasoline and three TDI diesel engines producing between 63 kW (86 hp) and 136 kW (185 hp). Audi pairs some engines with the lightning-fast, seven-speed S tronic transmission.
The A1 Sportback also features many high-end solutions in terms of controls and infotainment, including Audi connect. If the high-end media center MMI navigation plus is combined with the Bluetooth online car phone, the car can be connected to the Internet. The A1 Sportback features a light and youthful interior that can be customized with fresh colors and many attractive design details to reflect the customer’s own personal style. The base price for the five-door model is €16,950.
The Audi A1 Sportback takes up the design of the three-door A1. The engine hood and the rear hatch wrap around the body, the shoulder line encircles the entire car and the elegantly flowing roof with its integrated spoiler transitions to a steeply sloped C-pillar.
The front end is dominated by the large single-frame grille with its beveled upper corners. The headlights are also available with xenon plus lamps, and LEDs give the daytime running lights a homogenous appearance. The sculpted tail lights are also equipped with light-emitting diodes – in this case SuperRed LEDs.
Upon request, Audi will paint the roof line – the roof arch, the roof and the roof spoiler – in one of three contrasting colors. A choice of 12 paint finishes are available, including the new color Samoa Orange, which is exclusive to the A1 Sportback. Another option is the S line exterior package with its smart, sporty details. The accessories program for the A1 Sportback will later include kits with aerodynamic add-on parts and colorful decal sets.
The Audi A1 Sportback is 3.95 meters (12.96 ft) long and has a wheelbase of 2.47 meters (8.10 ft), just like the three-door model. It is six millimeters (0.24 in) wider and taller than the three-door model, however, at 1.75 meters (5.74 ft) and 1.42 meters (4.66 ft), respectively. Its aerodynamics have been fine-tuned so that the base version boasts a coefficient of drag of just 0.32.
High- and ultra high-strength steels comprise roughly two-thirds of the A1 Sportback’s body. The strongest of these are the hot-shaped steels, which are used primarily in the occupant cell. A large temperature increase during the shaping process lends them their extremely high tensile strength. Hot-shaped steels make thinner walls and thus a lower weight possible.
The lightweight body lays the groundwork for the low gross weight – the A1 Sportback 1.2 TFSI tips the scales at just 1,065 kilograms (2,347.92 lb). The body is also very rigid and impact-resistant yet quiet on the road. The product of these strengths is the outstanding driving sensation of the compact Audi. Sportily precise and free of vibrations and intrusive noise, it is reminiscent of cars from a larger class.
The interior of the Audi A1 Sportback is spacious, bright and airy, with dramatically elegant lines. The instrument panel, whose front slopes gradually toward the cabin, resembles an airplane wing. The center console is inclined slightly toward the driver; the four round air vents are reminiscent of jet engines. The console on the center tunnel is reminiscent of the rear of a sailing yacht.
The intuitively simple controls are a classic Audi strength, as is the high-quality workmanship. Numerous lovingly designed details, such as the precise click of the knobs for the air conditioner or the stitching on the leather steering wheel, illustrate the premium character of the A1 Sportback.
The A1 Sportback comes standard with four seats; a fifth seat is optional. They provide a sportily low seating position and good support. Headroom and shoulder room have each been increased roughly one centimeter (0.39 in) compared with the three-door sister model. All four doors offer ample storage. Cup holders and a 12V outlet are standard, with a storage package available as an option.
The luggage compartment of the A1 Sportback has a capacity of 270 liters (9.53 cu ft). Folding down the split rear seat increases this to 920 liters (32.49 cu ft). The L-shaped, deeply retractable head restraints do not have to be removed to do this. The loading lip is a comfortably low 66 centimeters (25.98 in). The optional luggage compartment package makes loading even more practical, with usefully divided storage compartments under the loading floor and other amenities.
The Audi A1 Sportback is available with a choice of six four-cylinder engines: three TFSI and three TDI units. All of the engines follow the downsizing principle – they substitute forced induction for displacement and draw their fuel through direct injection units. All versions except the 1.6 TDI with S tronic and the most powerful gasoline engine are equipped with a start-stop system.
The base engine, the 1.2 TFSI, produces 63 kW (86 hp). Particularly effective thermal management contributes to its low fuel consumption of 5.1 liters per 100 km (46.12 US mpg). The two 1.4-liter TFSI engines produce 90 kW (122 hp) and 136 kW (185 hp). The top-of-the-line gasoline engine is supercharged and turbocharged, resulting in 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) of torque, a zero-to-100 km/h (62.14 mph) time of 7.0 seconds and a top speed of 227 km/h (141.05 mph).
Three TDI units round out the lineup. The 1.6-liter engine is available in two different versions, with 66 kW (90 hp) and 77 kW (105 hp). When paired with a manual transmission, both versions consume just 3.8 liters of fuel per 100 km (61.90 US mpg) on average, which corresponds to only 99 grams of CO2/km (159.33 g/mile). The 105 kW (143 hp) 2.0 TDI to follow later accelerates the A1 Sportback to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.5 seconds, yet its average fuel consumption is just 4.1 liters of fuel per 100 km (57.37 US mpg).
The transmission also underscores the high-tech character of the A1 Sportback and its special position in the compact segment. Audi offers the seven-speed S tronic as an option with the 1.4 TFSI with 90 kW (122 hp) and 1.6 TDI with 66 kW (90 hp); it comes standard with the top TFSI model with 136 kW (185 hp). The dual-clutch transmission shifts comfortably, extremely quickly and with no perceptible interruption to the flow of power. The two clutches do not need a separate oil supply, making the S tronic even more efficient.
The driver can let the seven-speed S tronic, which also includes a hill hold assist, shift automatically or control it manually. Shift paddles on the steering wheel are available as an option. The manual transmissions – with a five-speed or six-speed gearbox depending on the engine – also offer the perfect combination of sportiness and efficiency.
Whether in the city, on an interurban road or on the highway – the A1 Sportback is always great fun to drive. The front suspension is a McPherson construction; a torsion beam axle is used in the back. The weight distribution is in perfect harmony with the front-wheel drive system. The sensitive and efficient electrohydraulic steering is very direct with a ratio of 14.8:1.
The chassis is tuned for agility. It is even sportier in the Ambition trim line and more dynamic again with the S line sport suspension.
The Attraction trim line includes 15-inch steel wheels, while the Ambition comes with 16-inch alloy wheels (1.4 TFSI with 136 kW (185 hp) comes standard with 17-inch wheels). Audi offers 17-inch cast aluminum wheels with 215/40-series tires as an option. The new seven-spoke design is exclusive to the five-door model. The optional 18-inch alloy wheels from quattro GmbH provide for an even sportier appearance.
The Audi A1 Sportback has powerful brakes, with internally ventilated front discs. The ESP stabilization program with electronic limited slip differential, which comes standard on all models, makes the handling even more precise while also enhancing driving safety. It minimizes understeer at the limit by braking the inside front wheel slightly, which also improves traction.
The Audi A1 Sportback will debut with an extensive array of standard features. The base Attraction line already comes equipped with manual air conditioning, a split rear seat, a radio remote-controlled central locking system, power-adjustable side mirrors, power windows, the chorus radio and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. Safety equipment comprises two front airbags, two thorax/pelvic side airbags and two head airbags. Belt force limiters, the integral Audi headrest system and Isofix anchor points for child safety seats in the rear round out the program.
Exterior details identifying the Ambition line are 16-inch alloy wheels, high-gloss exhaust tailpipes and fog lights. The sport seats include lumbar supports, and the passenger seat is also height-adjustable. The shift lever, the steering wheel and the handbrake lever are covered in leather; some areas of the cabin are highlighted with aluminum-look trim and the air vents are in high-gloss black. The driver information system includes the on-board computer with efficiency program and gear-change indicator (with manual transmission). Special seat upholstery and interior color choices round out the Ambition line. Many individual options reflect the high-tech expertise of the A1 Sportback. These include the xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights, the high-beam assistant, the light and rain sensor, the panoramic sunroof, the convenience key, the alarm system, two different parking system versions and cruise control, to name a few.
Audi also offers deluxe automatic air conditioning, tinted windows, heated front seats and an easy-to-use leather multifunction sport steering wheel, which can also be equipped with shift paddles for the S tronic. From special colors for the air vents to fine leather upholstery – the price list offers nearly every customization option imaginable.
Two packages are available for both trim lines. The media package includes the concert radio system, the connectivity package, the leather multifunction sport steering wheel and the driver information system. The style package brings youthfully fresh color accents to the interior, including on the doors, the “yacht stern” and the air vents. The LED interior lighting package bathes the cabin in cool light. The aluminum-look trim visually underscores the A1 Sportback’s sporty potential. Additional exterior features are the contrasting roof line, the LED tail lights and the body-color side mirrors. quattro GmbH offers the S line exterior package, the S line sport package and the Audi exclusive line. Customers can order a variety of exterior and interior kits from the accessories range, even after the initial sale.
A modular range of infotainment systems with components taken directly from the luxury class is available for the Audi A1 Sportback.
The first component is the optional concert radio with its SD card reader. It serves as the foundation for the connectivity package, which includes the Audi music interface, a Bluetooth telephone preparation kit and a navigation preparation kit. The customer can activate the latter at a later time. Audi also supplies the connectivity package as part of the media package. The next step up is the navigation package, in which the navigation feature is already enabled.
At the top of the line is MMI navigation plus, which sets new standards in the small compact segment. It includes a large hard disk, the MMI operating principle, a DVD drive and powerful voice control. The 6.5-inch monitor, which folds out from the instrument panel, displays three-dimensional graphics in high resolution.
Examples of the additional high-end complementary features available include a digital audio tuner and the 465-watt Bose surround sound system with 14 speakers. The front woofers are illuminated with LEDs. Bluetooth and wired interfaces are available for cellular phones and external players.
Another novelty in the segment is the Bluetooth online car phone that brings Audi connect, the new online services from Audi, to the A1 Sportback. These include navigation with images from Google Earth and Google Street View, specially prepared news, weather and travel information, web radio and voice-controlled POI search. A WLAN hotspot connects mobile devices on board to the Internet. Audi traffic information online provides a precise and up-to-the-minute picture of traffic on the chosen route.
The Audi A1 Sportback will debut at attractive prices. The 1.2 TFSI in the Attraction trim line costs €16,950, and the 1.6 TDI with 66 kW (90 hp) is priced at €19,050.