Audi opts to give popular A1 the mildest of facelifts

2014-12-28 10:10:51

On its fourth birthday, Audi’s A1 supermini has finally gone under the surgeon’s knife and been given a mid-life facelift. Clearly, the German company thought a light nip-n-tuck would suffice since judging by the photographs, the A1 has been given only a modest and minimal refresh.

The most obvious changes are to the grille, headlamp graphics and side sills. The smidgeon of S1 aggression these changes make have added 20mm to the overall length. There is also a refreshed paint palette from which to choose the hue for you.

But the biggest news has been reserved for the changes that have occurred under the skin. In particular, we mean under the bonnet, with the introduction of a pair of brand new 3-cylinder turbocharged engines. We say brand new, but in fact they are only new to the A1, having been borrowed from the mechanically identical Volkswagen Polo range. The two new 3-pot engines are a 94bhp 1.0 TFSI petrol unit which emits just 99g/km of CO2 and boasts 65.0mpg, and a new downsized 89bhp 1.4 TDI Ultra diesel unit that sports an impressively low 89g/km of CO2 whilst returning a very thrifty 83.0mpg.

In addition to the two new engines, there are also four revised engines which range in power from 89bhp to a full-on 228bhp available in the S1, which can reach 62mph from a standing start in just 5.8 seconds. Dependent upon which engine you choose, Audi says that you can expect fuel consumption to have improved by up to 10%. The highlight is a 189bhp 1.8 TFSI turbocharged petrol unit that the A1 shares with its Polo GTI cousin.

New for 2015 is a 7-speed S-tronic twin-clutch paddle-shift automatic transmission which can be mated to all the engines for an additional charge. All transfer their power to the front wheels, save for the range-topping S1 Quattro, which as the name suggests, continues to deliver its service via all-four wheels.

The fashionable power steering pump is also new. It relies on electric motors to turn the rack for assistance. Speed-variable assistance has been coupled to the Audi Drive Select system and allows the driver to toggle the characteristics they want. Only a test drive will allow us to know how natural this makes the steering feel.

Climb inside the cabin of the new A1, and you will find the latest MMI system that controls the infotainment system. It also sports a Wi-Fi hotspot package for those who can’t bear the thought of being separated from their Facebook and Twitter accounts whilst on the move.

The basic architecture of the A1 remains, which means it is still available as both a 3-door hatchback or 5-door Sportback.

Audi has enjoyed considerable success with its little A1 supermini. Since going on sale in 2010, it has sold more than half-a-million units – thus giving BMW’s MINI brand a run for its money in the premium supermini class.

Sales for the revised A1 begin in the spring of 2015. The entry-level car will cost from £14,315 with the most expensive model costing £21,640.

This article was prepared by our car news partners First4Auto

Reported By

Andrew Merritt-Morling

Chief Editor

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