Audi’s sales growth over the past two decades has been staggering (the four-ringed brand sold almost 1.9m vehicles last year), and part of the reason for this is a model onslaught that has left no niche untapped. One case in point is the pint-sized A1, which took the Ingolstadt marque into new — downsized — territory when it launched in 2010.
Cynics might say it was nothing more than a very expensive VW Polo, but there’s no denying the original A1 debuted some cool and original design elements, and its impeccably finished cabin was something never before seen in the tiddler category. No surprise, then, that it’s been a big hit for the brand (although not so much in our region), with more than 830,000 sold to date.
Audi aims to keep the sales impetus going with the just-revealed, second-gen A1, which once again shares its core underpinnings with the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza. That said, the newbie is larger than the car it replaces, measuring 4,030mm long and 1,740mm wide. It has a nicely hunkered-down stance, too, sitting 50mm lower than its VW Polo cousin.
The new A1’s cabin falls into line with its Audi siblings by ditching the plethora of buttons and pop-up screen in favour of the suave and user-friendly MMI touchscreen infotainment system, which now features across the range. There’s also an option that adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Handily, boot space has been bumped up from 270 to 335 litres, and folding the rear seat down liberates a generous 1,090 litres — making it an IKEA-friendly chariot.
Engine choices will include a 148bhp 1.5-litre turbo and 197bhp 2.0-litre turbo, with the first of these mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch auto, while the latter gets a six-speed S-Tronic auto. All versions are front-wheel drive.