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Audi seizes A1 diesel advantage

No penalty: A1 buyers can opt for frugal diesel power with no up-front cost penalty because Audi has decided to price diesel-powered variants in line with their petrol equivalents.

Diesel A1 offers sub-Prius fuel consumption as Audi prepares 2012 new model blitz

25 Oct 2011

AUDI will add a frugal 1.6-litre diesel variant to its popular A1 premium light hatch range next month, priced identically to equivalent-spec petrol Attraction and Ambition variants as it prepares for a continuation of its new model onslaught next year.

Powered by a 66kW/230Nm turbo-diesel engine with engine idle-stop and regenerative braking, the oil-burning A1 achieves a Toyota Prius-beating official combined fuel consumption figure of 3.8 litres per 100km and CO2 output of 99 grams per kilometre when matched with the standard five-speed manual.

The latter is not as clean as the petrol-electric Prius, which outputs a low 89g/km of CO2.

In a departure from conventional diesel pricing, which usually attracts a premium over the equivalent petrol, diesel-powered variants will match the respective $29,900 and $33,450 petrol price points in entry-level Attraction and mid-spec Ambition trim levels.

Like petrol-powered variants, diesel A1s will come equipped as standard with alloy wheels, a sports steering wheel, Bluetooth streaming, a trip computer, 6.5-inch multi-function display, eight-speaker sound system and automatic headlights and wipers.

Ambition trim adds 16-inch alloys, sports suspension, sports seats, front centre armrest, front foglights, high-gloss air-vent sleeves and chrome tailpipe trims.

Consumption increases to 4.2L/100km when fitted with the optional $2260 seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission.

During the 3043km odyssey from Darwin to Adelaide in last week’s Veolia World Solar Challenge, the first diesel A1 in Australia – the event’s only production model – achieved average fuel consumption of 3.4L/100km having survived high temperatures, headwinds, bushfires and rain.

7 center imageLeft: Audi A1 Sportback five-door concept, Q3, R8 GT Spyder, S5 update, S6, A8 hybrid.

Meanwhile, Audi is planning no fewer than 11 changes to its line-up for next year, highlights of with are the much-anticipated Q3 SUV, five-door A1 variants and hot twin-turbo V8-powered S6, S7 and S8 versions of its flagship trio.

The facelifted A5 – including fast S5 variants – will appear first, joined later in the year by a jacked-up Allroad A4 variant, an Avant wagon version of the A6 and the snarling 317km/h open-topped R8 GT Spyder.

As GoAuto has reported, the revised A5 – due in the first quarter of next year – will debut Audi’s new super-efficient 1.8-litre turbo-petrol engine, which generates as much torque as the brand’s existing 2.0-litre turbo engine while slashing fuel consumption by more than 20 per cent over the existing 1.8-litre turbo in the TT, A3 and A4.

The engine, which will inevitably make its way under the bonnets of further Audi models, uses a mixture of direct and indirect fuel injection plus variable valve-lift on both inlet and exhaust camshafts to achieve Euro 6 emissions compliance and diesel-like fuel consumption of just 5.7L/100km with 134g/km of CO2 output.

A self-shifting dual-clutch S-Tronic transmission will also be offered on entry-level 1.8-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel variants of the TT sportscar, which should help boost volume for a model on which sales have remained static so far this year.

When it arrives in the second quarter of 2012, the Spanish-built Q3 crossover will become the first genuine competitor to Range Rover’s soon-to-be-launched Evoque and if European pricing translates to the Australian market, it should match the wagon-like BMW X1 and slightly undercut the Evoque.

Ingolstadt’s Volkswagen Tiguan-based Q3 will employ the brand’s aluminium expertise to keep weight down – claimed to be less than 1500kg on entry-level variants.

Power will come from four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, with the most potent variant achieving 0-100km/h in 6.9 seconds and the most frugal sipping less than 5.2L/100km.

With two rear doors adding practicality, the more versatile A1 – first revealed in ‘Sportback’ concept form at the 2008 Paris motor show and joining the local line-up in the third quarter of next year – will further broaden Audi’s light-car line-up and poach more sales from premium rivals like the Mini Cooper, Citroen DS3, Alfa Romeo MiTo and Fiat 500.

Also coming in the third quarter, the S6, S7 Sportback and S8 will debut Audi’s new twin-turbo 4.0-litre petrol V8, which will be shared with Bentley and is eventually expected to be available with up to 420kW in flagship RS variants.

Producing 309kW and 550Nm in the S6 and S7, the new V8 is pumped up to 382kW and 650Nm in the S8 sports-limousine.

Replacing the 5.2-litre Lamborghini-sourced V10 of previous-generation flagship Audis, the new engine carries cylinder deactivation technology, which like General Motors’ Active Fuel Management system fitted to V8 Holdens, saves petrol by operating as a four-cylinder under light-load conditions.

Looking further ahead, 2013 will see the start of Audi’s vehicle electrification programme in Australia, with the arrival of hybrid A6 and A8 luxury sedans that combine a 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor integrated with the transmission in place of the torque converter.

What's coming from Audi:

A1 1.6 TDI - November
A5/S5 facelift - Q1 2012
Q3 SUV - Q2 2012
TT 1.8T S-Tronic - Q2 2012
TT 2.0TDI S-Tronic - Q2 2012
R8 GT Spyder - Q2 2012
A1 five-door - Q3 2012
A4 Allroad - Q3 2012
A6 Avant - Q3 2012
S6, S7, S8 - Q3 2012
A6 hybrid - 2013
A8 hybrid - 2013

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