Audi A1

Aimed squarely at the likes of BMW’s Mini, Audi is biting off a lot with this little A1. From the outset, they are saying that this is not an economy Audi. This is not their version of the Yaris or some such. It’s better to think of it as being Audi’s version of the Mercedes Smart in a lot of ways.

And yeah, the A1 small, taping in at less than four meters, or about the size of a Miata. Audi says the A1 is aimed at ” … young customers [that] live in major cities and therefore are looking for a vehicle that is designed for the urban environment. Thanks to its compact dimensions, it is very agile and nimble in city traffic and offers a high degree of everyday utility.”

See, sounds like a Smart doesn’t it?

Buyers of the A1 can customize numerous details to tailor the car to their personal tastes. The A1’s infotainment system is said to set new standards in the segment. No, I won’t go into how much I loathe the word infotainment, but you know the target demo for this car is going to love just what Audi has done, infotainment-wise.

Audi says the A1 has a “coupe-like design”, but essentially it’s a lumpy little hatchback. The A1 has large wheel wells and a contrasting custom-look roof arch as an option. The headlights carry on the current Audi design language, and there are optional xenon plus with LED daytime running lights.

On the inside there are two trim levels available and numerous opportunities for customization. There’s a high-performance navigation system with MMI control and comprehensive options for the connection and playback of mobile phones and portable music media. There’s a Bluetooth interface and a connectivity package for the later integration of an Audi map-based navigation system, and a Bose audio system with LED fiber optic technology.

Engine-wise, Audi will offer two TDI and two TFSI plants, all with turbocharging and direct fuel injection. All engines have a recuperation system and start-stop system: 1.2 TFSI with thermal management. Tranny options include seven-speed S-tronic and there’s an on-board computer with efficiency program. Audi will also equip the little A1 with an ESP stabilization system with electronic front differential lock to bolster the handling.

Audi’s latest will hit the streets this summer with a base price of around 16,000 euros (currently around $21,800 USD.)

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