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New Audi A1 supermini revealed

Watch out Mini, baby Audi arrives in May

Audi A1

Audi A1: one of the most hotly anticipated cars of 2010

Official pictures of the new Audi A1 have finally been released. 

The new Audi A1 looks remarkably similar to the concept version we first saw at the and is exactly what you’d expect an Audi supermini to be – sharply styled with an elegant interior and a host of efficient engines. Its world debut takes place at the Geneva Motor Show next month and it hits UK showrooms in May.

Audi A1 engines

Engine choice at launch will consist of an 85bhp 1.2-litre turbo petrol, 120bhp 1.4-litre turbo petrol and 103bhp 1.6-litre turbodiesel.

Both petrol engines return 55.4mpg according to initial EU testing figures, with 119g/km CO2 emissions. The diesel is said to be capable of 72.4mpg and 102g/km CO2 – don’t be surprised if this drops below 99g/km by the time the car is actually launched.

Performance is spirited throughout the range, with 0-62mph in as little as 9.1 seconds and a maximum top speed of 124mph (both figures from the 1.4 turbo petrol). All three engines feature Audi ‘recuperation’ technology and start-stop engine technology as standard.


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Audi A1 promises to be fun to drive

Audi claims the small dimensions and relatively low mass of the engines gives the A1 the best weight distribution in the premium supermini class – which bodes well for the car’s handling.

It also promises the A1 – which shares its underlying platform with the latest and – will be compliant and controlled, but also well balanced, nimble and fun. This is important in a sector dominated by the fun-to-drive Mini and retro-modern city car.

Helping the A1 tackle challenging corners is standard-fit stability control (ESC) that includes an ‘electronic axle differential’. This uses the same sensors as the stability control system to inhibit understeer and deliver a sharper driving experience.

A similar device is already used by a number of fast Volkswagen and Seat models, so we know it can be very effective.

Three specification levels

The new Audi A1 will be available in SE, Sport and S line specifications right from launch.

Full details of each specification are yet to be finalised, but Audi confirms that every A1 will come with air conditioning, alloy wheels, electric windows and mirrors, remote locking and split-fold rear seats as standard. A CD-stereo including MP3-player connection will also feature.

Suspension settings become increasingly aggressive as the spec level rises, so for example, S line will be stiffer than Sport.

Audi A1 interior

Audi A1 interior is classy and elegant 

Optional extras

Chief amongst the bountiful extras is the ‘roof contrast line’ – the silver banding on the red car pictured. This will be offered in a wide range of finishes including carbon fibre, much like the ‘side blade’ on Audi’s R8 supercar.

Other options include Audi’s MMI infotainment system and satnav with pop-up screen, DAB digital radio and a full iPod interface. The upgraded Bose stereo system will even feature LED lighting for the woofers.

Speaking of LEDs, Audi’s now notorious LED daytime running lights will be available in conjunction with xenon headlights on the A1 – but on top-spec S line models only.

Prices start from £13,000

UK pricing for the new Audi A1 hasn’t yet been confirmed, but it is expected to start from around £13,000. Competition in the supermini market is tough, but we don’t doubt the A1 will prove one of 2010’s most successful new model launches.

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