The difference is not down to the two extra doors alone: the styling of the five-door concept vehicle is a consistent development of the three-door study, the Audi A1 project quattro from the year 2007. Surfaces and lines are distinctly tauter and more masculine.
The basic proportions, with a high vehicle body and a flat window area bordered by a coupe-like roof line, produce a virtually classic look for a vehicle bearing the four rings. The rear end is rounded off by a two-part spoiler with a striking centre groove, integrated into the rear window.
The side-on view presents another typical coupe attribute in the form of doors with frameless windows and a glass-covered and thus homogeneously integrated B-pillar. The bold segmentation of the study's side paneling with its gently rising shoulder line accentuates the styling.
The shoulder line of the Audi A1 Sportback concept with its Daytona Grey paint finish is a new interpretation of yet another trademark feature of the current Audi design. Here, the prominent double lines continue around the entire vehicle as a curvaceous band that links the front end – from which it seems to emerge – with the vehicle's tail, which rises to create a slightly wedge-shaped effect.
The aerodynamically designed single-frame grille indicates the sporty ambitions of the study, which are further emphasized by the flared fenders – a tribute to the legendary Ur-quattro design and the current Audi RS 6.
The design of the three-dimensional main headlights in innovative LED technology is especially eye-catching. The completely new styling underlines yet again the amount of freedom that this technology has afforded to designers. All light functions – low‑beam and high-beam headlights, daytime running lights and turn indicators – have been located in one flat housing, in concentrically arranged, parallel and squared-off strips.
The layout, with light segments of varying sizes – the low beam taking up most space – completely changes the character of the front section, the “face” of the A1 Sportback concept.
The rear lights, too, continue this theme and combine the function of tail and brake lights, turn indicators, reversing and rear fog lights into an unmistakable design. The interplay of acute and obtuse angles and the clear and colored glass areas create a particularly dynamic look. A large-dimensioned, transparent cover over the entire width of the vehicle additionally combines both light units and emphasizes the horizontal design of the rear.
Like the three-door version, the body of the four-door Audi A1 Sportback concept makes optimum use of the small road surface area available to a vehicle from the premium compact class. Measuring 3.99 m long (13.09 ft) and 1.75 m wide (5.74 ft) with a wheelbase of 2.46 m (8.07 ft), it succeeds in combining sporty looks with impressive economy of space thanks to its short overhangs. The transverse installation of the engine also has a significant role to play in this respect. The third dimension of this compact, sporty car – i.e. the height – comes in at 1.40 meters (4.59 ft).
The interior, with its four individual seats and a surprisingly generous amount of spaciousness for this class, has a tidy, no-frills appearance. The curved, wrap-around section combines the doors and the sporty cockpit into one single unit. The dashboard and center console are designed entirely around the driver.
Ergonomics and aesthetics unite to create an ambience of clear-cut architecture and high-class appeal. Details such as the turbine-look air vents and air conditioning controls seem to be straight out of a jet plane. This is where advanced form and precise function are combined in typical Audi fashion: air flow direction and volume can be regulated simply and intuitively by turning or pressing the control button in the centre of the vent.
The center console accommodates the integrated selector lever, only extended in drive select dynamic mode, the start/stop button for the engine, the switch for Audi drive select and the armrest with an integrated mobile phone pocket.
The sporty seats with integrated head restraints offer levels of comfort and ergonomics that far exceed the customary standards in the sub-compact class and live up to the expectations of a typical Audi. A transparent, mesh-like fabric covers the lightweight seat apertures, which further accentuates the airiness of the design.
The materials used for the interior trim appeal with their high-class looks and feel. The contrasting color scheme for the interior – white and red – emphasizes the feeling of spaciousness.
Audi mobile device – the second generation
Whereas the Audi A1 project quattro study featured its own mobile control unit for infotainment and vehicle systems, the A1 Sportback concept takes one step further into the future: the driver can use his commercially available mobile phone (equipped accordingly) as a car phone, address database, navigation system and audio/video player. At the same time it can be used as a control unit for numerous vehicle systems in the Audi A1 Sportback concept. Several phones that are suitable for these functions are already available from various manufacturers.
All that is required is some additional software, which Audi will provide on the internet for the driver to download and install. He can then enter his route plan or adjust the sound system to his individual preferences, all from the comfort of his own home, for example.
The mobile phone and vehicle communicate via a fast WLAN connection, even over considerable distances.
The system also offers the user a security function: within the range of the WLAN it can constantly monitor the current status of the vehicle, for instance whether all windows and doors are closed. What’s more, the additional software offers numerous comfort and convenience features such as continued destination guidance on the mobile device after the vehicle has been left in a car park. If the user sets a maximum parking time with the device, its navigation software leads him back to the Audi A1 Sportback concept – in good time of course, allowing for the current distance from the vehicle.
During the journey the mobile device demonstrates its strength as a portable media player. If the user listens to a song in a certain driving situation – on the motorway, for example – it is entered in an appropriate playlist. The software registers when and where the user prefers to listen to particular songs. The music is then available at the right moment.
The MMI control unit in the vehicle is a further development of the familiar design. In terms of feel it is easier to operate, particularly while driving. Grouped around the central rotary pushbutton are four fixed-function hardkeys for the Navigation, Telephone, Car and Media basic menus. Four additional, backlit softkeys have variable functions which change within the individual menus.
The projected softkey labels combine with the bold softkey colors that identify the corresponding menus to ensure swift, intuitive user orientation.
All system information appears in the central display in the instrument cluster. This is designed in its entirety as a digital, freely configurable display with no mechanical elements. Superimposed glass elements make the graphics stand out with a three-dimensional look, producing a level of depth which could never be attained using a standard display.
As well as the virtual, large circular dial of the analog speedometer, which is always visible on the right-hand side of the instrument cluster, numerous other displays can be called up on request, and can be selected via control buttons on the steering wheel. These include infotainment, classic navigation by pictogram or map, a rev counter, information on how to drive as efficiently as possible and a current status report on the hybrid drive.
The layout of the infotainment display features icons arranged in a semicircle. As the driver turns the central MMI rotary pushbutton, the icons mimic the movement until the desired function is selected by pushing the button. Content can therefore be communicated visually, enabling it to be grasped faster and more intuitively than pure text.
The equipment, data, and prices specified refer to the models offered in Germany. Subject to amendment; errors and omissions excepted.