Audi has updated its A1 and five-door A1 Sportback models to freshen up the premium supermini for 2015. Improved levels of standard kit and more efficient engines aim to keep the A1 competitive with the likes of the Mini.
The A1 has been a very successful car for the German marque, which has shifted more than half a million of them since its release back in 2010. As a result, very few changes to the 2015 version are radical. Indeed from the outside, most are hard to spot at all…
From a styling perspective, those subtle tweaks start at the nose, where the hexagonal grille has been sharpened up. The headlights remain the same shape, but have revised elements to give a more distinctive appearance, and the front bumper has been tweaked with square fog lights replacing the old round units.
A newly sculpted sill is the only change along the side, and the rear gains updated lights and a reshaped bumper.
On the inside, the eagle eyed will spot a little extra chrome and gloss black detailing, new trim options (like a sporty leather and Alcantara trim) and a couple of new material colours. Equipment levels have improved across the range, too. All models now feature electric windows and mirrors, air conditioning, and a six-speaker audio system with iPod connectivity.
A new collision brake assist system – which reduces the risk of secondary wallops and further loss of control during an accident – is now standard.
What powers it?
At launch, the 2015 A1 will offer a choice of two petrol engines and a diesel. The 1.4-litre turbo petrols are carried over from the old model, albeit with a little extra power. The regular version produces 123hp and emits 115g/km of carbon dioxide, while the hotter 148hp model is even more frugal – thanks to cylinder-on-demand technology, CO2 emissions stand at only 112g/km.
The 1.6-litre diesel gains efficiency upgrades so it now returns a claimed 80.7mpg – an improvement of 6.4mpg over the previous engine.
Joining the range a few months later will be a new 1.0-litre turbocharged unit – the first time a three-cylinder engine has been offered in an Audi. Replacing the 1.2 TFSI as the base of the range, power increases by 6hp over the old engine to 94hp, yet is claimed to return over 60mpg.
The standard transmission is either a five or six-speeder, depending on the model, while an optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is available on all models.
Each trim level in the range has its own unique suspension set up, ranging from the softest SE model, to the lower, sportier ride in the S line.
For those looking for a broader span of ability, optional adaptive dampers are available for Sport and S line models. Both steering and adaptive dampers are adjustable though a rotary control dial on the centre console, which can also adjust the engine and automatic transmission settings (where fitted) through three modes: Auto, Dynamic and Efficiency.
The steering set up has also received attention. The introduction of a new electromechanical system aims to give greater feel for the driver by reducing assistance as speeds increase.
How much will it cost?
Prices start at £14,315 for 1.0-litre TFSI, which will be available to order from spring 2015. The rest of the range will be available to order towards the end of this month.