Five-door, five-seat versatility meets exemplary quality, efficiency and technological sophistication in the new A1 Sportback, an even more user-friendly addition to the acclaimed premium subcompact range that will become available in the UK later this month and will reach its first customers here in the spring of 2012. Carrying a modest £560 premium over each equivalent three-door A1 in exchange for greater convenience and five-seat capability, the A1 Sportback will be priced from £13,980 OTR.
- New five-door Sportback version of A1 premium subcompact hatchback available to order later this month priced from £13,980 to £21,270 – a £560 premium model-for-model over three-door – first deliveries in Spring 2012
- Full five-seat capability, slight increase in head and shoulder room despite identical exterior ‘footprint’
- Four advanced, ultra-efficient TFSI and TDI engines initially available in UK – 1.2 TFSI petrol (86PS, 160Nm), 1.4 TFSI petrol (122PS, 200Nm), 1.4 TFSI twin-charge petrol (185PS, 250Nm), 1.6 TDI diesel (105PS, 250Nm)
- 1.6 TDI champions efficiency with 74.3mpg and 99g/km CO2 output
- 2.0 TDI to follow in summer 2012 (143PS, 320Nm)
- Standard features include alloy wheels, split/folding rear seat, front and rear electric windows, air conditioning, single CD audio system with MP3 compatibility, ESP with latest differential lock system
- Option of full roof paint finish in contrasting colour exclusive to Sportback
Although its compact, city-friendly dimensions very closely follow those of the three-door A1, the A1 Sportback is actually six millimetres taller and six millimetres wider, and inside offers slightly more head room and shoulder room as a result. It also makes provision for an extra passenger – up to three can pass through its rear doors and take a seat, each of them protected by a headrest and full three-point seatbelt.
Luggage compartment capacity is on a par with the three-door A1 at 270 litres with the backrests of the standard split/folding rear seat in place or 920 litres with the seat folded. The L-shaped, retractable head restraints do not have to be removed to do this. The loading lip is a comfortably low 66 centimetres, and stowage can be further simplified by an optional luggage package featuring usefully divided storage compartments under the loading floor and other amenities.
Features common to the SE, Sport and S line options available for UK A1 Sportback models include alloy wheels, remote central locking, air conditioning, electric front and rear windows and mirrors, split folding rear seat and a six-speaker single CD Concert audio system linked to a 6.5-inch retractable display.
Sport model additions include larger 16-inch wheels, sports suspension, sports seats, Bluetooth mobile phone preparation and a Driver’s Information System, while S line versions upgrade with extras such as an exclusive S line exterior treatment including larger 17-inch alloy wheels, S line sports suspension and leather and cloth combination upholstery.
Infotainment from the classes above
The standard Concert audio system with its 6.5-inch retractable monitor and SD card reader serves as the foundation for options such as the connectivity package, which includes the Audi music interface (AMI), Bluetooth telephone preparation, Bluetooth audio streaming and a second SD card reader which prepares the A1 to accept SD card-based satellite navigation. The customer can activate the latter at any time via an Audi Centre at extra cost.
The next step up is the technology package, which includes MMI navigation plus using a large hard disk to display 3D graphics in high resolution, the MMI operating principle, a DVD drive, the AMI and powerful voice control.
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 mobile phones and external players.
Another feature not normally associated with cars in this segment is the Bluetooth online car phone that brings ‘Audi connect’ online services to the A1 Sportback. These include navigation with images from Google Earth, specially prepared news, weather and travel information, web radio and voice-controlled POI search. At a later date it will also incorporate Google Street View images. A WLAN hotspot connects mobile devices on board to the Internet.
Many other individual options reflect the high-tech expertise of the A1 Sportback. These include Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights, a high-beam assistant, light and rain sensors, the advanced key, two different parking system versions and cruise control, to name a few. The list of more indulgent extras extends to everything from electronic climate control, heated front seats and special colours for the air vent sleeves to fine leather upholstery.
New contrasting roof option
Externally, the options list for the A1 Sportback extends beyond the three-door version by offering customers the possibility to choose one of three contrasting colours not only for the roof line as in the three-door, but also for the entire roof itself as well as, in S line models, the spoiler that extends from it. The Sportback will also expand on the eleven paint colours available for the three door with a twelfth – Samoa Orange – that will be available exclusively for the new five-door.
The A1 Sportback range will initially feature a choice of three TFSI petrol engines and one TDI diesel producing between 86PS and 185PS. All bar the 185PS unit will have their impressive efficiency further enhanced by an engine start-stop system.
The 1.2-litre TFSI (86PS), 1.4-litre TFSI (122PS), 1.4-litre twin-charge TFSI (185PS) and 1.6-litre TDI (105PS) line-up will be joined in the summer of 2012 by a fifth member – the 2.0-litre TDI with 143PS. Just introduced into the three-door A1 line-up, it will power the A1 Sportback 2.0 TDI to 62mph in 8.5 seconds, and has the potential for 68.9mpg according to the combined cycle test.
In line with the three-door A1 range, the 1.6-litre TDI model will again be the efficiency standard-bearer for the Sportback, combining its 105PS output with the potential for 74.3mpg and a congestion charge and VED-eliminating 99 gram CO2 output per kilometre.
The performance flagship – the turbocharged and supercharged 1.4 TFSI 185PS – will feature the seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch gearbox with its exceptionally rapid shifts as standard, helping it to sprint to 62mph from rest in 7.0 seconds on the way to a top speed of 141mph. This much-praised, performance-oriented transmission will also be available as an option for the 1.4 TFSI with 122PS. All other versions use quick and smooth-shifting manual transmissions.
Thanks in part to these relatively light, compact engines, weight distribution in the A1 Sportback is remarkably even front-to-rear. Combined with short overhangs, sophisticated front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam suspension and the latest generation Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with electronic axle differential, this makes for a compliant ride and well-balanced handling that is also nimble and fun. This is especially true of the Sport models with their tauter set-up, and even more so with the S line-specific settings.