New 2018 Audi A1

More room, higher quality and better technology: the new 2018 Audi A1 is due this summer

John Evans
Apr 11, 2018

Audi's winning formula of luxury in a small package has made its little A1 a roaring success for almost a decade.

But the chic supermini is starting to fall behind the competition after al new versions of the Ford Fiesta,  Mini Hatchback and VW Polo were launched last year, offering new levels of comfort and technology along with improved quality.

That's why an all-new version of the Audi A1 will arive this summer, aiming to once more establish its lead as the premium small car of choice.

The car has not yet been revealed by Audi but is expected to look similar to the ilustration above, although all A1s are expected to be five-door models with doors for front and rear passengers. The new A1 will be bigger than before with more space in the boot and extra legroom for rear passengers.

News of a new model is good if you like the look of the current car: you can expect better deals on new and used models as the launch of the next A1 approaches.

Highlights include:

  • Five-door hatchback version only
  • Brighter LED headlights
  • More interior space, especially in the rear, and a bigger boot
  • Higher quality interior
  • Optional dual-screen display, with digital dials behind the steering wheel
  • More power and better fuel economy promised from engines

Key facts

2018 Audi A1 price from £18,000 (estimated)
2018 Audi A1 on sale date Summer 2018 (estimated)
2018 Audi A1 deliveries from autumn 2018 (estimated)
2018 Audi A1 dimensions Height 1420mm Length 4000mm Width 1740mm (estimated)

 

2018 Audi A1 interior

No car manufacturer promises less room in its new car, so it’s no surprise the new A1 will be more spacious than its predecessor. It can do this because of the car’s all new and larger structure.

Rear passengers will be the main beneficiaries. They’ll enjoy more leg, head and shoulder room than before. The boot will be slightly bigger, too.

With most rivals fitting dashboard touchscreens, Audi is likely to go further and offer the brand’s dual-screen layout, which is called virtual cockpit (above), as an option. As well as a screen in the middle of the dashboard, this also replaced the dials behind the steering wheel with a second display, which can be adjusted to show sat-nav directions or phone details, for example, alongside digital dials.

An upgraded software system with the latest software, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, for simple control of phone apps, is expected. Wireless charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot is likely to be offered.

To remain competitive, the Audi’s interior will have to feel even more upmarket that it does at present, so expect even higher quality plastics and well-damped controls.

2018 Audi A1 driving

Audi outsiders won’t get to drive the car until after it has been launched, but it’s rumoured that the A1’s structure is sturdier and more solid than before.

This usually makes a car smoother over bumps and nimbler in corners, but we won’t know if that’s the case until we’re able to get behind the wheel.

At present, Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive system, which improves grip when accelerating on slippery surfaces, is available only on the sporty S1. However, it will be offered on more versions of the new A1, making the car feel more secure in winter, and improving the performance of more powerful cars.

There will be a choice of petrol engines. Improvements should mean that they provide more power and better fuel economy than the existing ones. they’ll be turbocharged, which helps to improve performance without a drastic effect on efficiency.

It’s not clear whether, in light of falling demand for the engines, that a diesel will be offered.

  

2018 Audi A1 design

The current Audi A1 is available as a three door version, with just two front doors (and the bootlid making three), or a five-door Sportback, which has rear doors for easier access to the back seats.

This five-door car will be the only option with the new A1. Side by side, the new model will be longer overall, including between the wheels: a measure that benefits interior space. The neew car is also expected to be slightly wider.

However, it will still be recognisably an A1, with a design that’s evolved from the present car.

The new car will have a wider hexagonal grille with a flatter bonnet than at present, plus bright LED lights front and rear across the range.
Scrolling indicators that seem to sweep across the light clusters have already been seen on other Audi models and should become an option for the first time.

  

2018 Audi A1 model range

The one body style can be combined with a range of petrol engines and trim levels designed to attract younger buyers. Entry-level Audis are typically badged SE. Mid-range Sport models often have larger alloy wheels and front foglights, which make a bigger statement. S Line cars typically add even bigger wheels and more interior gadgets.

Audi may also be planning to copy Mini by offering more opportunities for personalisation. These could include contrasting roof and body colours, with complementary interior colour panels.

The range will top out with a new, more powerful S1 version, due on sale towards the end of the 2018.

  

2018 Audi A1 technology

In a bid to attract younger buyers and compete with rivals, most notably the Mini, the new A1 will have an improved infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Higher spec versions may also gain a wireless phone charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display, first seen on the Audi TT, is Audi’s party-trick so expect it to be an option on most versions, if not standard on higher-spec ones.

With the Euro NCAP crash tests getting tougher by the year, expect the A1 to have a raft of safety tech including automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning that will sound an alert if the car drifts out of its lane.

Partial driverless technology may also be available, enabling the car to steer so that it keeps within its lane on a motorway, as well as to speed and and slow down in line with other traffic.

 

2018 Audi A1 engines

A choice of small turbocharged engines will dominate the A1 line-up. The range will open with a 1.0 three-cylinder petrol engine basged TFSI producing around 115 horsepower.

This should be enough power for steady acceleration in any situation, but many drivers will prefer the option of a 150 horsepower engine to provide zippier performance that’s more in line with Audi’s reputation.

The car will be offered with a choice of six-speed manual or efficient seven-speed automatic gearbox called S-Tronic. this has two clutches, enabling the car to select the next gear before it’s needed, for faster shifts.

A 1.6 diesel is being considered but given the decline in diesel sales, may not make it into the range.

 

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