The Audi brand represents a passion for automobiles. The A1 is a typical, fully-fledged Audi. It has a confident road stance – powerful and distinctive. Its dimensions also document the dynamic lines: It is 3,954 millimeters (12.97 ft) long and 1,740 millimeters (5.71 ft) wide, but only 1,417 millimeters (4.65 ft) high. Its wheelbase measures 2,469 millimeters (8.1 ft); the overhangs are correspondingly short.
The roof arch, the distinctive, encompassing shoulder line and the sharply sloped C-pillars give this three-door model a characteristic silhouette. All body details have a high-quality feel and are cleanly executed. Audi is known for bringing many ideas and innovations from its show cars to production vehicles. The A1 borrows many styling cues from the 2007 A1 project quattro show car. Its design is tightly integrated into the brand’s design language: emotion-packed, bold and progressive.
The front end bears an unmistakable family resemblance, but the details feature unique accents. The single-frame grille, for example, takes an evolutionary step. Its angular upper corners were first seen on the A8 luxury sedan. The crossbars appear to float. The large air inlets with the three-dimensional edges and the horizontal slats play a major role in the sporty appearance of the A1, with the optional fog lights integrated into their outside corners.
The Audi A1 fixes the road with a determined and concentrated gaze, like a sprinter in the seconds before the starting gun sounds. The lower edges of its headlights form a wave; a contour known as the wing, which differs in shape depending on the lighting technology used, structures the interior of the headlights. As with every Audi, high-efficiency daytime running lights are standard. With the optional xenon plus headlights, the daytime running lights are implemented as two ten-watt light-emitting diodes per headlight, whose light is radiated via a light guide. They appear to be a homogenous band that traces the wing. The turn signals are below.
The headlights can be paired with the optional high-beam assistant – another first in the compact class. The system uses a small camera integrated into the rearview mirror to detect oncoming vehicles and automatically switches between the high and low beams.
Characteristic: the roof arch
The sportily flowing roof arch is a characteristic element when the A1 is viewed from the side. Audi will paint it in one of four colors that provide a vibrant contrast to the body color upon request. The arch terminates with the C-pillar, which is even flatter than on many coupes. This gives the rear end a dynamic outline that is further emphasized by the roof spoiler.
The rising line visually lengthens and accelerates the A1. The upper edge of the hood extends below the side windows to the rear end. As with the Audi TT sports car, the point where the wrap-around hood meets the front fenders is the point of origin for a typical Audi design element – the tornado line. It extends through the door and the rear side section, running tightly above the wheel arches, giving the A1 a powerful road stance.
The heavy shaded edge beneath the tornado line, the athletically arched sheet metal surfaces on the flanks and the rising dynamic line above the sills are additional elements from the brand’s design language. The same applies to the ratio of sheet metal surfaces to the greenhouse, which is two-thirds to one-third. The side mirrors are mounted on the doors like with TT and the R8; the door handles are distinctly bow-shaped. The pronounced wheel arches house wheels up to 18 inches in diameter.
The wrap-around hatch emphasizes the wide of the rear end – a solution new to the compact segment. The hatch is distinctively shaped, forming a spoiler lip above the license plate. Below the edge are the undivided tail lights. They have a wedge shape similar to the front headlights and are sculpturally integrated into the design.
Even with the base model, the light pattern of the tail lights is unusually wide and homogenous. In the xenon plus version – or as an separate option – each of the tail lights are equipped with 54 LEDs, which all together consume only 3.5 watts of power. The SuperRed LEDs emit an intensive, deep red color and produce a three-dimensional light sculpture in the shape of two flowing arcs.
Two chrome bezels give the brake lights, which are amplified with reflectors, a ring-shaped appearance. The rear fog light is integrated into the brake light and uses its variably activated LEDs. Because the tail lights cannot be seen when the hatch is open, the A1 has additional LEDs on the C-pillars – another example of Audi’s attention to detail and enthusiasm for technology.
A sporty black diffuser in the skirt forms the bottom of the tail end and visually places the A1 firmly on the road. On the left side, the exhaust system terminates in one or two (with the 1.4 TFSI) tailpipes, which feature elegant trims in the Ambition trim line. The entire exhaust system is very light in weight. High-grade stainless steels permit low wall thicknesses in the pipes and the mufflers.
Audi offers the A1 in ten exterior colors. The solid finishes are Amalfi White, Cumulus Blue and Brilliant Black; the metallic colors are Ice Silver, Phantom Black, Teak Brown, Shiraz Red, Scuba Blue, Misano Red and Sphere Blue.
For every taste: the exterior configurations
Audi has served up a wide range of customization options that go beyond the paint. There are more than 800 possible exterior configurations, including adhesive films for the roof arch. The side mirror housings can be painted in the arch color or the body color. The Competition Kit Aerodynamics, which will follow somewhat later, comprises a lip for the front spoiler, redesigned side sills, a rear diffuser and chrome-plated sport tailpipe trims. A large roof spoiler is also available as an option.
Additional sporty options such as tinted rear windows are available from quattro GmbH. With the black styling package, the frames of the single-frame grille and of the fog lights, the license plate frame and the grille are either glossy or matt black. The S line exterior package comprises unique bumpers and modifications to the radiator grille, the front spoiler lip, the air inlets, the diffuser insert, the sills and the tailpipes. The front fenders and the door sill trims sport S line badges, and a distinctive roof spoiler rounds out the package.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.