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Audi enhances A1 offering

13.05.2015

THE A1 has been somewhat of a hit both locally and internationally for Audi with over half a million being sold over the past few years internationally and over 8 000 locally since 2011. Now, as is tradition nowadays, the A1 has received a mild update halfway through its lifecycle however, as I discovered, the changes are skin deep.

But it looks the same?

Audi actually had to show us photographs of the new car next to the old one, from various angles, while describing the exterior design changes. Good news is that if you own an outgoing A1 model your resale value isn’t likely to be affected too badly.

There are new front lights, foglights as well as a redesigned front bumper, which looks a bit sportier, while at the rear there’s also a revised bumper and lights. Audi has also increased the customisation options with several wheel options, as well as body/roof colour combinations, meaning hundreds of thousands of possible combinations  are available.

Interior echoes

Inside, you’d be hard-pressed to find much difference but those with a keen eye will notice the addition of the Drive Select button in the lower part of the centre console, which is available in higher end models. There’s still the same quality Audi cockpit with superb ergonomics although that driver’s central display is getting on a bit and there still aren’t any USB ports, although Bluetooth is now standard.

Skin-deep changes

The big news with the new A1 range is on the powertrain front with no diesel option available anymore, while there are two new turbo petrol engines available. The S tronic gearbox is now an option across the range.

The first new motor is the 70kW/160Nm three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbo petrol which replaces the 1.2-litre turbo in the outgoing model. I drove both the manual and automatic version of the A1 with this engine and can report that it is smooth, efficient (claimed consumption 4.3 litres/100km) and has enough power for daily use.

Second up in the range is the 1.4 TFSI motor which has 2kW more now for an output of 92kW/200Nm, while using 5.0 litres/100km. This mid-range engine provides the best compromise of nippy performance and fuel efficiency.

The top-of-the range 1.8-litre turbo replaces the 1.4-litre turbo/supercharged model and is a quick little car as it shares an engine with the new Polo GTI. With 141kW/250Nm on tap and the S tronic gearbox as standard it goes from 0-100km/h in 6.8 seconds, while using a claimed 5.6 litres/100km. The S1 model remains the same with its 2.0-litre turbo producing 170kW/370Nm and only being available with a manual transmission.

New kit

The new ranges comes with a host of new features for instance, the base model 1.0-litre cars now get a three-spoke, multi-function leather sports steering wheel , Bluetooth, concert radio with pop-up LCD colour screen, driver information system with efficiency programme, 15-inch alloy wheels and electro-mechanical power steering 

The higher specified 1.4-litre cars come with 16-inch alloy wheels and Audi Drive select, while the top-of-the range 1.8 cars come with Xenon plus headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels, which round off the new additions.

Verdict

The enhancements made to the A1 are more significant that I initially thought; the addition of two new engines especially the superb 1.0-litre three-cylinder, should see the A1 continue with steady sales for the foreseeable future, with rivals such as Mini not providing a base model to compete with the cheaper Audi.

Warranty and service

The A1 range comes with the five-year/100 000km Audi Freeway Plan as standard.

Pricing:

Audi A1 1.0 TFSI S manual R 265 000
Audi A1 1.0 TFSI S tronic R 282 500
Audi A1 1.4 TFSI SE manual R 298 500
Audi A1 1.4 TFSI SE S tronic R 316 000
Audi A1 1.8TFSI Sport S tronic R 382 500
Audi S1 2.0T FSI quattro manual R 452 500
Audi A1 Sportback 1.0 TFSI S manual R 272 500
Audi A1 Sportback 1.0 TFSI S tronic R 290 000
Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI SE manual R 306 000
Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI SE S tronic R 323 500
Audi A1Sportback 1.8TFSI Sport S tronic R 390 000
Audi S1 Sportback 2.0TFSI quattro manual R 460 000

 

Article written by Sean Nurse
13.05.2015
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