1 Jun 2015
AUDI’S facelifted A1 Sportback hits back against BMW hard-charging Mk3 Mini with significantly more compelling pricing and value, as well as stronger yet more economical new engine choices at both ends of the range spectrum.
All come with an updated infotainment system, a wider ‘Single Frame’ grille, redesigned headlights, revised bumpers with deeper front air intakes and rear diffuser respectively, restyled tail-light lenses, different alloys, more aero door mirrors, and a refreshed colour palate, keeping in line with the S1 quattro flagship launched in September 2014.
The changes are in line with the mods made in 2014 to the closely related Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Fabia Mk3, which gain some of the electrical advances from the VW Group’s newer MQB modular transverse architecture in order to keep this generation of ageing PQ26-platformed A1 more competitive.
Completing the overhaul are updated electrical systems for driver-assisted and multimedia technologies and electro-mechanical rack and pinion steering, displacing the old electro-hydraulic unit to eek out more fuel economy. The old TDI diesels also disappear.
Usurping the manual-only 1.2 TFSI Attraction opener, the new 1.0 TFSI offers higher equipment levels, as well as a sub-$30K auto option for the first time.
The new 999cc 70kW/160Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo is available with a five-speed manual or seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch automatic.
Next up is the evergreen 1395cc 92kW/200Nm 1.4 TFSI, now with the economy-enhancing COD Cylinder On Demand technology, and with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed S-tronic.
The old A1 Sport with its novel 132kW 1.4 TFSI Twincharger turbo/supercharged four-pot petrol unit set-up makes way for the 1798cc 141kW/250Nm 1.8 TFSI S Line S-tronic only.
All models include start-top technology, as well as a new two-stage Electronic Stability Control with extended torque vectoring capabilities. The new steering system’s motor is now column mounted for better strength and feel.
Other than all that, underbody changes are minimal.