We recently learned of Audi’s plan to develop an Audi RS1, based on the current-generation A1, which will be the highest performance model in the line. However, soon after the launch of the RS1, due out in 2017, Audi will be replacing the current gen. The second-generation Audi A1 will launch in 2018 and bring a massive suit of upgrades to the table.
The first big change is the A1’s switch to the Volkswagen Group’s ubiquitous MQB platform. Used on everything from the VW Polo all the way up to the Audi Q3, the MQB platform underpins all VW/Audi products that use a transverse engine. This new platform will increase the size of the A1, by just a bit, while also making it lighter and more rigid as well. But not only will it change the A1’s dimensions, it will also allow it to handle better and feel more upscale.
Some of the cars featured on the MQB platform include the fantastic new VW Golf R and Audi S3, so we know it can handle some serious performance. But it also provides better comfort than before, with a better ride quality and superior NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) insulation. This will be important for the new Audi A1, being that the four-ringed brand is trying to move its subcompact a bit more upmarket. Reason being is that its competitors are doing the same thing. The new VW Polo and Mini Cooper have both gone more upscale, leaving the Audi A1 behind. And Audi does not want to see its new subcompact feel less premium than a VW or Mini.
Engine-wise, the new A1 will likely get Audi’s typical suite of engines. So expect the 1.0 liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, a 1.4 TFSI engine (or possibly VW Group’s new 1.5 liter engine instead) and a couple of diesels. While we don’t know exactly which engines will power the A1, they should be competitive in the segment.
The Audi A1 will also be getting Audi’s new suite of advanced technology, including the Virtual Cockpit, Apple CarPlay and Android Audi. Look for the new A1 to come some time in 2018 and be the most advanced subcompact in its class. For rendered pictures of the upcoming Audi A1, check them out at Auto Express.