Audi A1 cabriolet under consideration

Article by Anita Panait, on February 16, 2012

Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler has effectively discarded the idea of creating a full-blown cabriolet version of the first-generation A1. The decision was based on the Audi’s internal business study that concluded that an A1 cabriolet variant would be too expensive to engineer and produce without any open-top models from Volkswagen, Skoda or Seat to share its PQ35 platform. 

There are, however, possible plans to create a semi-open-air version of the A1 compact hatchback, to compete with the likes of the Fiat 500C. According to Autocar, an early design study of the three-door A1 with a retractable cloth roof panel has been added to the company’s on-the-road prototype fleet, supporting theories that the A1 concept has already been approved. 

Autocar’s sources suggest that the new open-top A1 will be highlighted by a large, electric-powered cloth panel, covering around 80% of the total roof area. The cloth panel will automatically retract and be gathered in above the rear hatch at the press of a button. The open-top A1’s rear hatch will remain unchanged to make it possible to produce the car at a cost Stadler considers sufficiently low for it to be profitable.

The new Audi A1 features a powerful proportion that sets it apart as a sporty premium car in its class. This is evidenced by its dimensions. With wheelbase of 2.47 meters (8.10 feet), the new Audi A1 measures 3.95 meters (12.96 feet) in length, 1.74 meters (5.71 feet) in width and 1.42 meters (4.66 feet) in height. Its dynamics and elegance are defined by its short overhangs, pronounced shoulder line, the sharply sloping C-pillars and color-contrasted roof arch.

As expected, the new Audi A1 features an emotional, bold yet progressive styling that is definitively influenced by the Audi brand's design language. The German premium carmaker has been known for adopting certain elements and technologies from its concepts to series production. Now, the new Audi A1 is no exception as it comes loaded with several features and innovations seen from the 2007 Audi A1 project quattro concept.

While the front end of the new Audi A1 exposes its identity as part of the Audi family, it features a number of distinct attributes. For instance, its single-frame grille is now integrated into the front end and features angled top corners. It comes with horizontally arranged braces that help emphasize the front end’s width. In addition, the air intakes also feature horizontal bars with the fog lights now located on their outer corners.

The front end of the new Audi A1 also boasts of specially designed 3D-styled headlights that make the premium cars more focused and more imposing on the road. The inner part of the headlights has an array of curved wing structures.

Of course, the new Audi A1 is equipped with daytime running lights as standard. However, these daytime running lights will be specified in LED units and comes with a light guide if customers avail of optional xenon plus headlights. These daytime running lights appear as a homogenous strip tracing the wing of the new Audi A1.

Topics: audi, audi a1, cabriolet

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