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Brand New Audi A1

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Mike Stevens | Dec 4, 2010

Audi Australia has announced local pricing and availability of the 2011 Audi A1, with deliveries set to begin in the new year.

The A1 is the German carmaker's first entry into the light-car segment. According to Audi, it is also the first true 'premium' light car.

“The success of the A1 will drive our ongoing growth in Australia and will bring premium Audi motoring to a whole new audience,” Audi Australia Managing Director, Uwe Hagen said.

“This car brings all of the Audi principles of design, quality and engaging performance to a new segment of customers who don’t wish to compromise on a premium driving experience.”

Styling

Focusing on the light car segment - a market experiencing massive growth in recent years - Audi hopes to capture the minds of young, upwardly mobile urbanites, driven largely by ultra-modern looks and unique styling.

Audi has taken the style-driven city lifestyle to heart with the design of the A1, evident in the unique exterior roof arch and its sporty profile.

The A1 bears most of the usual Audi styling traits, including the brand's wide-open signature grille and LED-laden lights similar to those of the recently revealed Audi A8 and A6 sedans.

Interior

Audi describes the A1's dash as reminiscent of an airplane wing, with its round air-vents representing the shape of jet engines. The carmaker also points to the control layout as an example of clean and clear design that stays true to the Audi way.

Customisation is the key for the Audi A1, and its style-focused exterior carries through to the cabin. Styling options inside include coloured air-vent nozzles, LED interior lights and coloured seat covers.

Equipment

Audi's renowned infotainment systems are available for the A1, including the MMI Navigation Plus and a 465 watt Bose surround-sound system.

There are two trim grades or packages available for the A1. The standard Attraction trim level includes power side mirrors and windows, and a height-adjustable driver's seat.

It features 15-inch wheels, standard cloth seats and a three-spoke steering wheel, a split-folding rear seat, cruise control, concert radio and remote central locking.

The range-topping Ambition trim level features 16-inch wheels, fog lights and a polished exhaust tip. Inside, Ambition-specific features include aluminium-look highlights, leather-wrapped sports steering wheel and a driver information system.

Sports seats are standard with the Ambition grade, featuring an easy-entry function and lumbar support. The shift lever knob, steering wheel and parking brake handle are all leather-wrapped, while the door sill trims and interior highlights offer an aluminium finish.

The Ambition line comes standard with the driver information system, which includes the on-board computer with driving efficiency program.

Options

Milano leather seats are available as an option in both trim grades, priced at $2300.

The connectivity package includes a Bluetooth interface, the speech dialogue system and the Audi music interface. The next step up is the MMI navigation package, which includes the connectivity package with the navigation function already active.

A range of infotainment modules are also available, Independent from these packages, including the MMI navigation plus system and the Bose surround system are available.

Additional options include xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, an alarm system, heated and folding side mirrors, a ski bag, a front centre armrest, storage and luggage compartment package and two different parking aid systems.

There is also automatic air conditioning, heated front seats, an automatic anti-dazzle rearview mirror and a leather multifunction sport steering wheel, for which optional shift paddles are available in models equipped with the S tronic transmission.

Safety

While currently untested by ANCAP, the Audi A1 carries a 5-Star Euro NCAP crash safety rating.

The A1 is equipped with electronic stability control and six airbags: two front, along with curtain head airbags and thorax/pelvis side airbags in the backrests of the front seats.

Mechanical

Petrol

Power in the A1 comes from just one engine choice for the first half of 2011 - the Volkswagen Group's 1.4 litre TFSI petrol engine, producing 90kW and 200Nm of torque, the latter available between 1500 and 4000rpm.

Mated to Audi's seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission, the 1.4 TSI reaches 100km/h in a sharper 8.9 seconds, with a top speed of 200km/h.

A six-speed manual transmission is also available with the 1.4 TSI, getting the A1 from zero to 100km/h in 9.2 seconds.

Average fuel consumption for the 1.4 TSI is listed as 5.3 l/100km for the S tronic setup and 5.4 l/100km with the manual.

Diesel

In the second half of 2011, Audi's 66kW/230Nm 1.6 litre TDI diesel engine will join the A1 line-up, paired with a manual transmission.

With fuel consumption listed at 3.8 l/100km and emissions at just 99g/km of CO2, the TDI engine is equipped with start-stop and a recuperation system that recovers energy during braking.

The diesel engine will push the A1 to 100km/h in 11.5 seconds, with a top speed of 182km/h.

Weighing in at only 1045kg, the A1 is one of the lightest offerings in the 'premium compact' class.

Front suspension comprises a MacPherson setup with lower triangular wishbones. Steering is managed by an electrohydraulic rack-and-pinion power-assisted set-up rather than a straight hydraulic system.

Braking is managed by 288mm ventilated discs up front and 230mm solid discs at the rear, gripped at both ends by aluminium floating calipers.

Pricing

Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Attraction - 6-speed manual - $29,900
Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Attraction - 7-speed S tronic - $ 32,250

Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Ambition - 6-speed manual - $32,650
Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Ambition - 7-speed S tronic - $35,000

Note: prices are manufacturer's list price and do not include on-road costs or dealer delivery.

Photos of Australian model have not been released yet.

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