Characteristic Audi sportiness plus a whole new dimension in efficiency – it is all down to the combination of a state-of-the-art turbocharged FSI engine with an electric motor and innovative control electronics.
Under the hood of the Audi A1 Sportback concept sits a four-cylinder TFSI with a capacity of 1.4 liters and a turbocharger. This engine is an advanced version of the unit that made its series production debut in the Audi A3. Whereas the 1.4 TFSI musters 92 kW (125 hp) in the A3, it delivers 110 kW (150 hp) at 5,500 rpm in the study. Its peak torque of 240 Nm (177.01 lb‑ft) is on tap over a broad rev band from 1,600 – 4,000 rpm.
The Audi engineers have long since proven the performance potential of turbocharged FSI technology, both on race tracks around the world and out on the road. Indeed, a jury of experts awarded the accolade of “Engine of the Year” to the 2.0 TFSI for the fourth year in succession in 2008.
The new 1.4 TFSI builds on this very same concept in order to maximize efficiency and performance. Multi-hole injectors result in very homogeneous mixture formation and extremely efficient combustion. This is also an effective means of helping to cut pollutant emissions.
The integrated turbocharger promises optimized responsiveness and even more harmonious torque build-up. 80 percent of peak torque can be summoned up from as low down as 1,250 rpm, in other words barely above idling speed. And despite its power, the 1.4 TFSI sets new benchmark standards in its class for its acoustic output too.
Power transmission to the front wheels is the task of the sporty Audi S tronic dual-clutch gearbox. It allows the driver to change gear in fractions of a second without the use of a clutch pedal and with no interruption to the power flow. If required, the transmission performs the gear changes fully automatically, too. If the driver wishes to change gear manually, he can do so by using the shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. Reverse gear and neutral are engaged via the gear knob on the centre console. The park position is automatically selected when the electric parking brake is engaged.
Between combustion engine and transmission sits the 20 kW (27 hp) electric unit, which cuts in automatically depending on the selected operating mode – or propels the vehicle alone. The battery unit – a package of compact lithium-ion batteries – is installed at the rear of the vehicle, which makes for a good weight balance.
When powered solely by the combustion engine or purely by the electric motor, and when both are used in the boost mode, the A1 Sportback concept operates as a front-wheel drive vehicle. The high torque of 390 Nm in total (287.64 lb-ft) – 240 Nm (177.01 lb-ft) from the 1.4 TFSI plus an extra 150 Nm (110.63 lb-ft) from the electric motor – is transformed into the required level of tractive power when accelerating.
Overrun, or the so-called regeneration phase, is one of the most important instruments of this vehicle concept for optimizing efficiency as it transforms the braking energy released during deceleration phases back into electrical energy, instead of it being wasted and released as heat.
The Audi A1 Sportback concept can in principle run self-sufficiently, using mixed operation of the combustion engine and electric motor. Thanks to the intelligent management of both units, energy regeneration as well as the automatic start/stop function, fuel consumption is almost 30 percent lower compared to a vehicle running on the gasoline engine alone. Although the components of the electric motor add around 40 kilograms to the overall weight, the study still only burns 3.9 liters of premium fuel per 100 km (60.31 US mpg) in mixed mode, while CO2 emissions average just 92 g/km (148.06 g/mile).
Pure electrical operation over shorter distances, however, is a particularly attractive alternative offered by this vehicle that benefits the environment and the wallet alike – all the more so considering that the performance achieved in this mode and the range of over 50 kilometers (31.07 miles) are perfectly satisfactory. “Refueling” the Audi A1 Sportback concept from power sockets alone, therefore, produces an unequivocal result: even allowing for the relatively high costs of domestic electricity in Germany, it is still possible to achieve a saving or more than 80 percent compared with the price of premium fuel. Thanks to “zero emissions” the benefit to the environment is even greater, particularly in congested urban areas.
The equipment, data, and prices specified refer to the models offered in Germany. Subject to amendment; errors and omissions excepted.