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Audi A1 Test Drive Review

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2011 Audi A1 Interior

Interiors – As a newcomer, the new car’s inner trappings should be familiar to those with experience behind the Audi’s compact models. The A1’s dashboard and central control layout is clearly of the same vein, however there are some specific design related changes which have been designed to offer sporty looks with bespoke options. As expected the build quality is high and so is the equipment level which also includes a multimedia package and satnav. The screen for the satnav neatly slides in and out the dash and it angled perfectly in line with the driver’s sight. Instruments a large and are grouped together like its bigger cousins. With the LED interior lighting package, the A1 brings 100% LED technology to an interior in the premium compact class for the first time.

Although, several petrol and diesel powertrains will be offered with six speed manual or S-tronic automatic transmission, the engine for India will be the 1.2 or 1.4-litre four cylinder TFSIs mated to either gearbox. Both engines in the line-up also benefit from Audi’s modular technology, one of them being the start-stop system. The base engine, the 1.2 TFSI, produces 86 hp. Particularly effective thermal management contributes to its low fuel consumption of 19.6 km/l. The two 1.4-litre TFSI engines produce 122 hp and 185 hp. The top-of-the-line gasoline engine is supercharged and turbocharged, resulting in 250 Nm of torque, a 0 to 100 km/h time of 7.0 seconds and a top speed of 227 km/h .

Audi A1 Test Drive

On the safety front, besides a stiff body shell, the car comes with two front airbags, side airbags in the backrests of the front seats and two curtain head airbags as standard kit. Belt tensioners and belt force limiters plus the Audi integral headrest system round out the package of retention systems. Isofix child seat anchor points in the rear are standard. With a base weight of only 1,045kg, the A1 promises to be the lightest vehicle in its class. The car gets ESP packaged with electronic differential lock.

The front suspension comprises a MacPherson construction with lower triangular wishbones, while the rear uses torsion beam. Steering is electro-hydraulic rack-and-pinion power. At only 81cm, the front overhang is unusually short and depending on the engine, only between 61 and 63 per cent of the weight rests on the front axle. A number of details contribute to this, such as the position of the battery, which with most engine options is underneath the luggage compartment.

Audi A1 Berlin Drive

To pamper young customers of the A1, Audi is offering several trim lines and also the S line exterior package gives the model an even more dynamic appearance thanks to such details as chiseled sill tops and a large roof spoiler. Audi offers optional 17in wheels, with some designs featuring bicolour designs, and wide-format 215/40 tyres. Quattro GmbH will also offer 18in wheels and wide-format 225/35 tyres. Climb inside the car and things definitely get better as Audi’s best design and craftsmanship is evident all around, be it the plastics, leather, trims or controls.

Head over to the next page to read the Audi A1’s driving impressions and conclusion.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • rakesh

    Awesome review as always Chandan sir. I feel the A1 does not make sense for India, because we are obsess with 3 box car !

  • Javeid

    Great review Chandan. I am surprised that the A1 did not fare well in the ride and handling department, they seem to have that sorted with the other A models. A more powerful engine would have helped surely.

  • Aditya

    It’s good to see this article coming at this time, for Audi’s confirmed that A1’s passed at least the feasibility study for India. But Audi’s is going to play really smart and see how Mini fares, before bringing this car in. The Indian market can get really tricky, look at Fiat 500 as a proof or even Beetle for that matter.

  • Ninu

    So for the time being Mini is of luck A1..may be next time… :)

  • amish

    I would get a swift sport ;D

  • ramesh

    looks good, if launched in India can give tough competition to BMW Mini

    • ams rakesh

      I doubt, MINI has brand pull, much stronger than audi..

  • Chandan B Mallik

    MINI and 500 are modern interpretations of legendary icons with rich heritage.
    In my opinion Audi has to travel many more miles before it can think of achieving the cult/iconic status with the A1 vs MINI or 500. As of now, it is a souped up Polo with a new body on it.

    And this is not the first time a badge [not matter how brilliantly executed] can be a commercial flop — Maybach by Mercedes, Phaeton by VW are a few names in this category

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