New 2018 Audi A1 S line Competitors overview – a fancy Polo GTI?

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This new Audi A1 shares a lot of its structure with the most recent model of Volkswagen’s Polo and is constructed on the identical simplified MQB A0 platform that additionally underpins SEAT’s Ibiza and varied VW Group crossover spin-offs. It additionally will get the identical vary of petrol engines (they’ll be no diesels supplied), together with the Polo GTI’s 197bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre, as examined right here.

Longer than earlier than, the brand new A1 is fractionally decrease and slimmer than the automobile it replaces, which designers declare makes it look sleeker and extra aggressive. Within the steel the A1 it appears like a extra tautly penned model of the outdated automobile, it even incorporates a trio of vents on the vanguard of the bonnet in a nod to the Ur-quattro, a design element you’ll begin to see extra of in different forthcoming Audi fashions.

> Click on right here for our overview of the just lately up to date Audi R8

It’s inside that a lot of the progress has been made although, the brand new A1 feeling very like a scaled down model of the agency’s greater saloons. As you’d anticipate there’s loads of brushed aluminium and the most recent touchscreen infotainment display and TFT devices carry the automobile bang updated. There are some neat prospers too, similar to the color coded trim inserts and the pin-stripe LED lights that pick the instrument binnacle – though the fake full width air vent in entrance of the passenger appears a bit crass.

Technical highlights

Audi’s new A1 incorporates a pretty easy supermini suspension structure of struts on the entrance and a torsion beam on the rear. Crucially, it additionally implies that there’s at the moment no possibility so as to add four-wheel drive. So no new S1, for now a minimum of. Nonetheless, adaptive dampers at the moment are accessible for the primary time, though the 2 stage models are solely fitted to the highest 2.0-litre model. All S line modes (there’s additionally SE and Sport) get stiffer Sport suspension, which could be deleted in favour of the SE set-up in case you fancy extra consolation.

For sure, you’ll be able to alter the steering, throttle and gearshift (auto, dynamic, environment friendly and particular person), however like most techniques the sweetest mixture is the sportiest engine response with consolation for all the things else.

> Click on right here for our overview of the Ford Fiesta ST

Most of Audi’s engineering consideration has been targeted on connectivity, which suggests infotainment and driver help. For the previous there’s an 8.8-inch touchscreen that controls all the things from nav to telephone, whereas the motive force will get the choice of 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit TFT dials.

Driver aids run to plain autonomous metropolis braking and lane departure warning, whereas lane preserve help, adaptive cruise management and LED headlamps are on the choices record.

Not like the earlier A1 there shall be no three-door model this time, simply the five-door Sportback. Only one in 5 examples of the outdated automobile have been three-door, so it’s no shock Audi has ditched the idea.

Engine, transmission and 0-62mph

Below the A1 S line Competitors’s bonnet is the 197bhp EA888 turbocharged 2.0-litre that additionally powers the Polo GTI. Badged the 40 TFSI, it’s entrance wheel drive and solely accessible with the six-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission.

Operating the Miller cycle, the engine creates a valve opening overlap for a cleaner and extra environment friendly burn, and like all of the A1’s engines it will get a particulate filter within the exhaust.

It’s a brisk performer on paper, reaching 62mph in a claimed 6.5 seconds, earlier than rattling on to 147mph, and there’s an artificially augmented growl from the engine if that’s your sort of factor. Peak torque of 236lb ft is delivered in a plateau-like line from 1500rpm.

What’s it wish to drive? 

In the event you’re craving the type of scintillating driving expertise that almost 200bhp in a supermini suggests, you then’ll must look elsewhere. It’s a succesful and agile little factor the A1, however it lacks sparkle.

The efficiency quantity promise a lot on paper however the engine’s turbocharged torque and the auto gearbox’s willingness to execute full-bore upshifts don’t relate to an exciting flip of velocity. It’s fast from point-to-point, however you’ll wrestle to recollect the journey whenever you get there.

Regardless of the driving mode you select, the A1 drives very very like a twenty first Century VW product, so it’s quick and unflappable but calls for little or no of its driver. The steering is fast and correct, the entrance tyres could be made to work for his or her dwelling and the dampers of their firmest setting supply robust physique management. The brakes are good, too, delivering highly effective and progressive stopping energy.

Higher nonetheless, the mix of comparatively modest mass and shortish wheelbase offers the A1 with real poise, the chassis reacting with a confidence inspiring consistency and predictability.

Sadly there’s valuable little suggestions by means of the electrically assisted steering, whilst you can really feel the torque vectoring working the entrance brakes to maintain the nostril locked on line as you push on by means of slower corners. There’s some torque steer too, with even reasonably topped roads inflicting the wheel to writhe and tighten in your arms.

For the remainder of the time, the A1 is a refined, comfy approach to get about. Wind noise is low, the driving place is superb and, when it’s not in its sportiest mode, the engine is impressively muted. That mentioned the journey isn’t good, particularly on our check automobile’s 18-inch wheels. The optionally available adaptive dampers assist present a supple main journey, particularly on easily surfaced roads, however throw in some damaged tarmac and the big-wheeled A1 can shudder and crash because the suspension struggles to comprise the wheels.

Worth and rivals

Audi has but to disclose native the pricing for the A1. Nonetheless, with the outgoing S1 knocking of the door of £28,000 in its most simple guise, you’ll be able to anticipate this new 40TFSI S line Competitors to start out from a minimum of £26,000. There’s no hiding from the truth that’s a substantial amount of cash for a supermini.

Against this, a equally highly effective MINI Cooper S five-door prices £21,355 though an auto bumps the value as much as £22,280 and in Sport trim the MINI edges nearer to £25,000.

On the different finish of the size by way of premium issue is Ford’s new Fiesta ST. Its 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine produces 197bhp and prices £21,145 in ST 2 guise and £22,895 as a lavishly outfitted ST 3. These are costs for the five-door – you’ll be able to pay much less in case you solely want three doorways.

If you would like keep throughout the VW household the Polo GTi 200PS with a DSG gearbox will price £23,020.


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