We’ve seen the field of hot hatchery expand rapidly (in sheer competitors) – they’re now faster, more fuel efficient and to some extent more practical. Take the MINI Cooper S 5-Door that was launched last week, for example.
The facelifted A1 is now offered in both three-door and five-door trims – the latter called the A1 Sportback, and its exterior has been subtly reworked to keep things up to date. Among the changes on the outside are the hexagonal front grille, more angular front bumper and the beautifully designed LED powered headlights that only Audi knows how.
The LED daytime running lights are now placed on the upper side of the headlights as compared to the pre-facelift model which had them housed below the headlights.
Its side profile now looks different thanks to the revised door sills. The rear now sports new tail lights and a redesigned rear bumper to match the front. All these changes contribute to the its increased overall dimension of 20mm. As before, the roof can be ordered in contrasting colour.
Inside, the layout of the A1’s controls is neat and typically Audi, with fine chrome strips to accentuate the premium feel. Two new trims have been added – Design and Sport – which include a variety of customisation options.
For starters, the infotainment system (which folds out like the Audi A6) now features a Wi-Fi hotspot, GPS navigation system, speech recognition, Bose Surround Sound system and Audi Connect – Audi’s extensive range of internet services. Other options include the S-line sport package, coloured air-conditioning vents and decals for the exterior body.
This has got to be the highlight of this facelift. Two new turbocharged three-cylinder engines have debuted in the A1 line-up; the 1.0-litre petrol engine that makes 95 hp and the 1.4-litre turbodiesel mill that makes 90 hp. The last time an Audi car was fitted with a three-cylinder engine was the Audi A2 1.4 TDI, so this may very well be the first three-cylinder petrol engine to be used in their entire line-up.
The 1.0-litre petrol engine achieves an impressive 4.3-litres per 100km, whereas the diesel engine manages 3.4-litres per 100km. Both the engines are paired to the seven-speed S-Tronic dual clutch transmission.
In the driving department, Audi’s engineers have spent time fine tuning the chassis to make the A1 more fun to drive, as it now comes with adaptive damping and a new electromechanical power steering system.
We should expect the arrival of this A1 and the A1 Sport back sometime next year. In European markets, this facelift variant costs between £200 to £400 more than the pre-facelift model. The question now is, how much more do we have to pay over its current RM180k price tag?
Audi A1 Sportback