Baby Audi breaks cover

THE entry level Audi A1 will be launched to the local market early next year, Audi SA announced this week.

The smaller Audi A1 will be positioned below the popular A3. Audi said it had not reached a final decision as to which model range will reach SA. It describes its compact edition as dynamic and high quality, emotional and individual. The design is unique and modern.

Styling cues placing the A1 in the Audi family include the side line with the distinctive roof arch, the coupé-like C-pillars, the large wheel wells and, of course, the front end with the typical single-frame grille. The hood and rear hatch encompass the body; the tail lights are three-dimensionally moulded and present an unmistakable design.

According to Audi SA, customers can customise numerous details to tailor the car to their personal tastes.

The A1 has a broad portfolio of advanced technologies on board.

The new model line has four four-cylinder engines, two TDI and two TFSI petrol engines producing between 63kW and 90kW. All the engines follow the downsizing principle - they substitute turbo-charging for displacement and draw their fuel through direct injection units.

Also available is the seven-speed S tronic transmission with dual-clutch transmission.

The top of the line is MMI navigation plus. From the monitor that rises up out of the instrument panel to the control unit that follows the MMI logic, it is oriented on the systems found in Audi models in the higher segments. Based on the concert radio, the connectivity package offers the option of retrofitting an Audi map-based navigation system.

The A1 is expected to attract new buyers to the brand.