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Revealed: Racy new look as Audi rings in changes for the A1

By Paul Connolly

Audi has unveiled its latest A1 supermini – and it’s a racy little sportback number.

Due on sale from next month, the new A1 will only be available in five-door Sportback style (it was previously a hatch).

The new car, the second generation, is significantly longer, lower and roomier than before.

The stats are that it is:  4,030mm long, 1,740mm wide and 1,410mm tall; that’s 50mm lower than its sister car, the VW Polo, with which It shares a platform.

The design is completely new from the ground up, and the style is sleeker and sportier than before. There’s even a nod to the famous Ur quattros of the Eighties with a redesigned front end.

The wide, low-placed Singleframe grille and the implied side air inlets dominate the distinctive front, above which are three flat bonnet slits which pay homage to the Sport quattro, the brand’s rally icon from 1984.

Audi says UK models of the new A1 Sportback will be offered in SE, Sport and S line specification options.

Three engines will initially be available, and significantly, there’s no diesel choice, unlike with stablemates the Polo and Seat Ibiza.

It’s unclear whether this will be remedied later, or it’s another death knell for currently-unpopular fuel.

Those petrol engine choices start with the 30 TFSI, a three-cylinder unit with a 1.0 litre capacity and 116PS of power.

Then there’s a 150PS 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit with the cylinder on demand efficiency system (COD) in the 35 TFSI.

Finally, a 2.0-litre, 200PS TFSI with 320 Nm (236.0 lb-ft) of torque tops off the power list.

Audi says this trio will be followed shortly by the 25 TFSI base engine with 95PS output.

All engines can be linked to either a manual gearbox or the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, with the exception of the 200PS variant which uses a six-speed S tronic transmission as standard.

The cabin is the recipient of a major overhaul, with a digital instrument cluster, black glass, and a fully digital console, including an optional Audi virtual cockpit.

The cabin is roomier than the outgoing model, and luggage capacity has increased by 65 litres to 335 litres (boosted to 1,090 with the rear seats folded down).

The Infotainment systems have received a big boost, with MMI navigation and touchscreen being the latest in Audi’s armoury. The Audi smartphone interface is standard for all versions ensures and integrates iOS and Android smartphones using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

A range of driver safety assist systems are present, including Audi pre sense front as standard.

This system features a radar sensor which recognises critical situations involving other vehicles, crossing pedestrians or cyclists ahead of the vehicle, even when visibility is poor such as in fog.

The system then gives an acoustic and visual signals to warn the driver and can brake automatically if necessary.

The new Audi A1 Sportback will be available to order in the UK in September ahead of first deliveries in November.  Price details will be confirmed later.

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