The new five-door, five-seat A1 Sportback will become available in the UK later this month and will reach its first customers here in the spring of 2012.
Carrying a £560 premium over each equivalent three-door A1, the A1 Sportback will be priced from £13,980 OTR.
Although its compact, city-friendly dimensions very closely follow those of the three-door A1, the A1 Sportback is actually six millimetres taller and six millimetres wider, and inside offers slightly more head room and shoulder room as a result. It also makes provision for an extra passenger - up to three can pass through its rear doors and take a seat, each of them protected by a headrest and full three-point seatbelt.
Luggage compartment capacity is on a par with the three-door A1 at 270 litres with the backrests of the standard split/folding rear seat in place or 920 litres with the seat folded.
The L-shaped, retractable head restraints do not have to be removed to do this. The loading lip is a comfortably low 66 centimetres, and stowage can be further simplified by an optional luggage package featuring usefully divided storage compartments under the loading floor and other amenities.
Features common to the SE, Sport and S line options available for UK A1 Sportback models include alloy wheels, remote central locking, air conditioning, electric front and rear windows and mirrors, split folding rear seat and a six-speaker single CD Concert audio system linked to a 6.5-inch retractable display.
Sport model additions include larger 16-inch wheels, sports suspension, sports seats, Bluetooth mobile phone preparation and a Driver's Information System, while S line versions upgrade with extras such as an exclusive S line exterior treatment including larger 17-inch alloy wheels, S line sports suspension and leather and cloth combination upholstery.
Examples of the additional high-end complementary features available include a digital audio tuner and the 465-watt Bose surround sound system with 14 speakers. The front woofers are illuminated with LEDs. Bluetooth and wired interfaces are available for mobile phones and external players.
Another feature not normally associated with cars in this segment is the Bluetooth online car phone that brings ‘Audi connect' online services to the A1 Sportback. These include navigation with images from Google Earth, specially prepared news, weather and travel information, web radio and voice-controlled POI search. At a later date it will also incorporate Google Street View images. A WLAN hotspot connects mobile devices on board to the internet.
There are also Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights, a high-beam assistant, light and rain sensors, the advanced key, two different parking system versions and cruise control, to name a few. The list of more indulgent extras extends to everything from electronic climate control, heated front seats and special colours for the air vent sleeves to fine leather upholstery.
The A1 Sportback range will initially feature a choice of three TFSI petrol engines and one TDI diesel producing between 86PS and 185PS. All bar the 185PS unit will have their impressive efficiency further enhanced by an engine start-stop system.
The 1.2-litre TFSI (86PS), 1.4-litre TFSI (122PS), 1.4-litre twin-charge TFSI (185PS) and 1.6-litre TDI (105PS) line-up will be joined in the summer of 2012 by a fifth member - the 2.0-litre TDI with 143PS. Just introduced into the three-door A1 line-up, it will power the A1 Sportback 2.0 TDI to 62mph in 8.5 seconds, and has the potential for 68.9mpg according to the combined cycle test.
In line with the three-door A1 range, the 1.6-litre TDI model will again be the efficiency standard-bearer for the Sportback, combining its 105PS output with the potential for 74.3mpg and a congestion charge and VED-eliminating 99g/km.