Flagship SUV settled, now onto the supermini.
Audi, the German luxury carmaker, is an expert at slow-dripping information ahead of a product reveal. They’ve recently concluded their teaser campaign for the flagship Audi Q8 SUV, which required an online miniseries, darkened photos, and some highlighter tape for the full effect. But with that car out in the open, the Audi tease machinery has moved its sights onto this, at the other end of the scale: The Audi A1.
The A1 has been a mixed success in our market. While undoubtedly one of the more stylish and stand-out propositions in the segment, it fell victim to the rise of the SUV, with buyers opting for raised-ride, body-clad competitors that didn’t necessarily outdo the A1 (and its ilk) for any measurable reason. However, with the latest generation, the A1 promises to have grown up in its appeal, and will continue to offer buyers in the segment a funky proposition backed by renowned German build quality.
Revealed on several social media platforms were a few details on the new A1, that were important even if they were far from salient. In addition to an image, Audi revealed that the new A1 would benefit from a ‘virtual cockpit’ digital meter cluster, as well as a ‘touchscreen MMI’ infotainment display. This is textbook stuff, hardly groundbreaking.
What is interesting are the things that Audi didn’t mention, but the photo included. Those inclusions, uh, include things like coloured dash trim (around the air-conditioning vents) and the conventional switchgear for the dual-zone climate-control system. The A1 will be eschewing the three-screen setup seen in the bigger cars it seems, which is entirely understandable, given that the A1 will form the entry point into the Audi range.
The styling for the A1 is expected to be evolutionary in nature, with a large, prominent Singleframe grille as first seen in the Audi Q8, while the profile will bear more than a passing resemblance to the Audi Q2 SUV, with chunky pillars. Engine options are to be the same way too, with petrol three- and four-cylinder turbo units ranging from 92kW to 220kW in output expected (the latter figure in an eventual RS1).
No specific date was given on the introduction of the Audi A1, but the teaser suggests that the car will make its debut at a specific, special event in the Spanish town of Barcelona later this year.