Audi’s smallest car is finally getting the update that it needs. The current-gen Audi A1 is still built on the old Volkswagen Golf architecture, making it a bit old. Not only does it look a bit dated but its technology, performance and dynamics are all falling behind other, more modern super-minis. Which is unfortunate for Audi, as cars like the A1 are quite popular in population-dense European cities, where space and parking are at a premium. Thankfully, Audi is working on a new A1 and some new spy photos have just surfaced. (We don’t own the spy photos but they can be seen here)
Built on the brand’s new MQB A0 architecture, the same one that underpins the Volkswagen Polo, the new Audi A1 will be a bit larger than before but also a bit lighter. It will also gain torsional rigidity, thanks to newer chassis technology.
On top of the new chassis, the Audi A1 will gain the brand’s new corporate face. That means a new, massive Singleframe grille and more angular headlights. Considering that the current Audi A1 is getting a bit dated looking, this will be the car’s most welcome change, as it finally looks modern and more in keeping with the brand’s lineup. In this segment, there’s not a lot to differentiate cars, as they’re all pretty slow and pretty bland to drive. What they do have is their looks, as cars in this segment are more designed to be pretty city cars, rather than genuine sports or luxury cars.
Under the hood, the new Audi A1 will likely get the brand’s suite of three and four-cylinder engines, both petrol and diesel. The top-of-the-line A1 will likely come with the brand’s 1.4 liter turbocharged four-pot, much like the Audi Q2. Transmission options will probably consist of just a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
We don’t get the Audi A1 in North America, but it’s a great city car for much of Europe. In traffic-packed cities like London and Paris, having a very small premium car that’s easy to park but also comfortable and stylish is a nice luxury. It allows customers to have all of the benefits of a premium brand (style, prestige, technology, comfort) while also having a car that’s easy to navigate densely-packed cities.