Audi A1 aims to take on Bmw’s Mini! Does it have a chance?

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 25, 2010

Audi's new A1 compact hatchback is a stylish, fuel-efficient premium car with a more modern look than BMW's retro-styled Mini and its best feature is that it's priced lower than its main rival. The A1 is priced from 16,000 euros ($22,000), which falls below the 16,600-euro starting price in Germany for a Mini One with a comparable engine.

The consumer will have a choice from two gasoline and two diesel engines each is equipped with fuel-saving stop-start technology and brake energy regeneration.

To those who want the most fuel-efficient, it would be the A1 that is powered by a 90-hp, 1.6 diesel engine used in the Volkswagen Golf. The engine is tested to produce CO2 emissions of 99 grams per kilometer and to use 3.8 liters of fuel per 100km (61.9 mpg in the US).

The Audi A1's base gasoline engine -- a newly developed 1.2-liter unit that generates 86hp -- will have CO2 emissions of 119g/km and use 5.1 liters of fuel per 100km.

Clearly, the A1 is better when compared to the similarly built Mini One, which has a 98-hp, 1.6-liter gasoline engine that emits 127g/km and fuel economy of 5.4 liters per 100km. The A1 goes on sale in Europe this May.

The rear of the new Audi A1 features a distinctly shaped luggage compartment hatch, which in turn highlights the width of the compact vehicle. This part of the vehicle features design-integrated wedge-shaped single-piece taillights that also emphasize the width of the Audi A1.

These taillights feature both xenon plus and LED technology. Since the taillights are not visible when the hatch is open, Audi installed additional LED lights on the side flanks of the A1. Additionally, the taillights feature a sporty red frame, with a curved bar separating the chambers, which, when equipped with optional LED and light guides, make the taillights appear as a continuous strip.

The rear of the new Audi A1 also features sporty black diffuser in the skirt as well as an exhaust system that comes with one or two tailpipes, depending on the engine type. On the side of the A1 is a visually enchanting straight light that flows slightly upward, seemingly stretching the vehicle. Meanwhile, the hood’s upper edge flows underneath the side windows to the A1’s rear end. Additionally, this new compact features the tornado line, a typical Audi design element.

This line starts from the point where the hood meets the fenders and continues in the door and the rear flank. Then the tornado line flows above the wheel wells, providing the Audi A1 with a dynamic road stance. Design features for the new A1 include the heavy shaded edge beneath the tornado line; a dynamic line rising above the sills; as well as an arched sheet metal surface on the flanks.

Additional design features include vividly shaped wheel wells hugging the A1’s wheels (18 inches max) and 2/3:1/3 sheet metal surface-to-greenhouse ratio. Likewise, the Audi A1 features bow-shaped door handles and side-mirrors mounted on the doors like those on a sports car.

It is also presented with a roof arch -- which can be availed in one of four contrasting colors – that flows into a C-pillar that is flatter than on a coupe. This styling gives the A1’s posterior part an imposing outline highlighted further by the roof spoiler.

Customers can have their A1 finished in one of 10 available colors. They could choose from three solid colors: Amalfi White, Brilliant Black and Cumulus Blue. They could also choose from seven metallic colors: Ice Silver, Misano Red, Phantom Black, Scuba Blue, Shiraz Red, Sphere Blue and Teak Brown.

Topics: audi, audi a1, mini

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