Words by Matt de Prez @mattdeprez
Photography by Rowan Cullen @rowancullen
Audi’s first entry to the small car world was the thankfully forgotten A2. Shaped like a loaf of bread and with no bonnet to open, this upright hatch gained little popularity.
Thankfully, the A1 looks nothing like the A2, it’s sharp looking with just the right amount of ‘cute’. Cue the Instagram snaps of every 20 year old girl in the south of England: “Daddy just bought me a new A1” hashtag ‘cute’.
The A1 has read the book of ‘Mini’ cover to cover and learned how to use styling cues and premium interior fittings to win over the masses.
Under the skin we find the excellent VW Polo, this in itself is no bad thing. It makes the A1 refined and good to drive, it also means that a raft of VAG engines can be drafted in and paired to a DSG gearbox. To make the A1 a bit more sporty, Audi offers the S-Line package which has lowed suspension and bigger wheels.
A bunch of tech can be sprinkled on your A1 if you are prepared to part with quite a substantial amount of money. Sat nav, Bose stereo, Audi drive select and a Wi-fi hotspot to name but a few. You can also customize your A1 with a raft of colour options including flurescent yellow or white with classic audi quattro liveries.
The 185BHP 1.4 TFSI is the only A1 to crack 60MPH in under 7 seconds, it’s good for 141MPH and is the flagship A1. Audi will sell you a four-wheel drive S1 with a 228BHP 2 litre engine if you desire even more power.
So where’s the catch? Its the price. The A1 is expensive, too expensive given its roots. The Polo isn’t a million miles off the A1 and the Mini is still a better car to drive. Sorry Audi but the 4 rings on the front aren’t made of gold.