Audi’s smallest car – the A1 Sportback – may be a sharp small hatch, but we won’t get it.
Currently, the cheapest new Audi available in the U.S. is the A3 sedan, which kicks of at $31,950. That’s a fairly inexpensive way into Audi ownership, but what if we told you there was a cheaper model? A brand new Audi that will go on sale for less than $24,000. Well, one exists – the diminutive A1 Sportback. Audi just updated their A1 model with an angular, aggressive new look and a price under 20,000 euros.
Sadly, while small hatchbacks have long been popular in Europe, we won’t see the new Audi A1 Sportback in the U.S. Even so, we contend its a cool, small hatchback that functions as a more upscale Volkswagen Polo. Even though we can only imagine getting it in the U.S., here’s what is new about this piece of European forbidden fruit.
The A1 has grown slightly
Despite being a small hatchback, the Audi A1 Sportback is actually larger than the previous model, which was also denied from our shores. It’s 2.2 inches longer, for a total length of 13.2 feet. It’s 5.7 feet wide, almost the same as before, and it’s just 4.7 feet tall. It’s microscopic by American standards, but that doesn’t mean Audi gave it microscopic power.
Sure, Europeans can get an A1 Sportback with a 95 horsepower engine. Given how small the car is, that’s still not a terrible amount of power, though its no sports car. However, Audi is also fitting a 200 horsepower turbocharged engine under the hood, which ought to make this quite a pocket rocket. All engines will come with either a manual transmission – as Europeans aren’t as allergic to manuals as we Americans seem to be – or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as an option. However, on the top-of-the-range engine, Audi’s six-speed S tronic transmission comes standard.
Still has technology from the larger Audis
Again, despite how small the A1 Sportback is, it still comes packed with technology from larger Audi models. The plethora of safety equipment is still available on this model, including Audi’s MMI navigation plus infotainment system. There’s also the option of a 560-watt Bang & Olufsen stereo system. It even features Audi’s virtual cockpit as an option, for goodness’ sake.
Of course, discussion of the Audi A1 Sportback may be academic here in the U.S. It will go on sale this summer, with its official launch coming later this fall. However, even though we’re not getting it, there’s an important question to address. Is this one of the coolest small hatchbacks out there at the moment? With its angular design inside and out, as well as the sheer amount of technology crammed into such a small car, it could be quite a fun package. Should Audi bring cars like the A1 to the U.S.? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Audi A1 Sportback photo gallery [Photos: Audi]