An Introduction to the Audi A1

The Audi A1 is a three-door premium compact hatchback designed to be city-friendly.

The streamlined body offers a low drag coefficient of 0.32 and occupies a road footprint of less than four metres.

On-board technology includes TDI and TFSI diesel and petrol engines backed up by start-stop and recuperation systems, Electronic Stability Programme with an electronic differential lock plus convenience features such as the Multi Media Interface (MMI) infotainment system.

The 1.2 TFSI petrol engine is linked to a five-speed manual transmission that kicks off the range – its 86PS and 160Nm peak power and torque outputs enabling a 0-62mph time of 12.1 seconds and a top speed of 111mph. This is delivered with 55.4mpg capability and low carbon dioxide emissions of 119g/km.

The 1.4 TFSI power unit is next up delivering its 122PS and 200Nm via a standard six-speed manual gearbox or an optional seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission.

Equipped with S tronic it takes the A1 to 62mph in 9.1 seconds, and on to 124mph where conditions allow. In this form it can match its smaller counterpart on economy and emissions, delivering up to 55.4mpg with a carbon dioxide output of 119g/km.

The 105PS 1.6-litre diesel is the third engine option, and, via a five-speed manual gearbox, uses its 250Nm torque output to power the A1 to 62mph in 10.8 seconds and on to a 116mph top speed. Fuel economy can reach 72.4mpg on the combined cycle while carbon dioxide emissions are 102g/km - favourable when compared to used Audi cars.

Between 61 and 63 per cent of the overall weight of the A1 rests over the front, driven axle. There are also short front and rear body overhangs, front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam suspension and an Electronic Stability Programme with electronic axle differential all designed to produce good ride and handling characteristics.

The suspension - depending on which specification level is chosen from the SE, Sport and S line options available - controls either 15-inch, 16-inch or 17-inch alloy wheels and has either a standard setting for the SE, a stiffer Sport configuration with lowered ride height or an even more sporting S line set-up. Powerful all-disc brakes, ventilated at the front, and power-saving electrohydraulic power steering feature as standard across the board.

All the A1’s engine options are supported by the latest generation ESP system with electronic differential, which initiates brief, controlled braking of the inside front wheel and transfers the excess torque to the outside wheel, which can apply more power to the road.

The A1’s standard features include alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric front windows and mirrors, remote central locking, a single CD audio system and split folding rear seats.

All versions offer the option to upgrade with features such as a BOSE sound system including LED-lit woofers, DAB radio, the Audi Music Interface for iPod connection, cruise and parking distance controls and the Multi Media Interface navigation plus system. Based on the system used by the latest Audi A8, MMI navigation plus incorporates a 60 gigabyte hard drive, 20 gigabytes of which can be devoted to music files, linked to a 6.5-inch retractable colour display which can be used to scroll through music tracks or to display 3D mapping for the navigation system.