Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010, the A1 was Audi’s attempt to make significant ground in the supermini market. The car was designed with fuel economy in mind and, when launched, was only available in a three-door hatchback version. Entering the UK market in November of 2010, the A1 soon had a follow-up five-door version which was given the brand name Sportback.
Built in Audi’s automative plant in Brussels, Belgium, the A1 is a fairly conventional small car in so far as it is a front wheel drive vehicle with a front engine. The model has been constructed with five different petrol engines over time, including Audi’s famous A1 Quattro which has a 1,984 cubic capacity. There have also been three diesel engine variants of the model with two 1.6 litre versions and a 2.0 litre one used by Audi to power the car. The transmission of the A1 has utilised both 6 and 5 manual gear boxes over the lifetime of the car, with a 7-speed S-tronic automatic version being used as well.
In terms of safety, the A1 has achieved a five star award by the body responsible for safety rating, Euro NCAP. The car is based upon the same platform as Volkswagen’s Mark Five Polo and the SEAT Ibiza. Therefore, it shares many characteristics of other cars that are in it class. When Audi began to market the car, and to give it a distinctive identity, they recruited the pop singer and actor Justin Timberlake to act as an ambassador for the vehicle.