The design of the new A1 is already a matter of debate. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK
The design of the new A1 is already a matter of debate. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK

When the new Audi A1 arrives in SA in the second half of 2019, it will have grown up.

Not just because it will be nine years since the new model was first launched, but because it will be more than four metres long for the first time. Its 56mm growth technically removes it from the supermini category and makes it a compact hatch, but it also redefines the A1. The three-door version has been dropped, meaning only the Sportback will exist in the new line-up, providing practicality.

But the design is a bit of a conundrum; it includes three slits below the front of the bonnet, likely a homage to the 1980s Audi Sport Quattro. It would be a nice touch, if ever the A1 would be as iconic as the Sport Quattro, but it won’t, so it’s a bit silly.

The interior features the Polo dashboard architecture but with plenty of Audi touches. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK
The interior features the Polo dashboard architecture but with plenty of Audi touches. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK

There are other elements of the design that are also a little overdone, but until we see it in the metal, design is all subjective.

The interior looks good with great trim packages and of course a touchscreen infotainment system that has been turned more towards the driver. No surprises that the overall look is a little bit new Polo, mainly because the basic architecture of the dash is the same but it has plenty of Audi touches to give differentiate it. It will even get the fully digital instrument cluster as standard rather than it being a Polo option, although of course you will be paying an Audi price, not a VW one.

The new A1 will only be available as a Sportback. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK
The new A1 will only be available as a Sportback. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK

Other highlights include a 65l increase in luggage space and a host of driver assistance and safety systems, such as lane departure warning and front radar sensors.

Engine choices range from 70kW to 147kW, meaning an S1 seems likely again, but there is no word on a diesel. Then again, revealing the new A1 in the week that the global CEO of Audi was arrested for his alleged role in Dieselgate, it’s probably best not to mention diesel.

There will be Audi’s dynamic packages and Drive Select option to change the dynamics depending on your mood.

There will be S-Line options and like the first generation, the new A1 is promising a host of personalisation choices.

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