2011 Tokyo Motor Show: Audi A1 Sportback makes world debut

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 30, 2011

Audi is expanding its A1 lineup with the addition of the five-door A1 Sportback, which is set for launch in early 2012. A close resemblance of the three-door models in the A1 product range is obvious in the design, the dimensions and the structure of the lightweight body of the new model.

The up-and-coming A1 is 3.95 meters (12.96 ft) long. Being several millimeters taller, it offers more space in the back seats.

This Audi model has four seats, but an additional one is available upon request without extra charges. One can choose either three TDI diesel or three TFSI gasoline engines delivering between 63 kW (86 hp) and 136 kW (185 hp). Audi matches some engines with the lightning-fast, seven-speed S tronic transmission.

This vehicle model also boasts of various high-end solutions in terms of infotainment and control such as Audi connect. Internet connectivity is also possible by combining the high-end media center MMI navigation plus with the Bluetooth online car phone.

The vehicle also boasts of a light and youthful interior, which can be personalized with fresh colors and many attractive design details. The base price for this model is 16,950 euros.

One significant feature of the Audi A1 Sportback is that the body is rigid yet lightweight. This is because an estimated two-thirds of its whole body is composed of either high-strength steel or ultra-high-strength steel. Of these two types of steels, the strongest is that of the hot-shaped steels, which are mainly used for the occupant cell.

The main reason why this particular steel has a rather high tensile strength is because during the shaping process, it experienced a large increase in temperature. Since this type of steel results in the vehicle having thinner walls, it also means that weight is reduced. Having a lightweight body would ultimately mean a reduced gross weight and thus for this model, weight is at 1,065 kilograms, or around 2,347.92 pounds.

While the body of the A1 Sportback is indeed resistant to impact and is rigid as well, it is also quiet once the vehicle is on the road. All of these simply mean that the A1 Sportback, as a compact car, is able to deliver an excellent driving sensation. Indeed, with its sporty precision and the way that it prevents any intrusive noise or vibrations, one would think the A1 Sportback is from a larger class of cars.

Looking at its dimensions, the A1 Sportback has a length of 3.95 m (12.96 ft.). While it is designed similarly to the three-door A1, it is wider by 6 mm (0.24 in.) and higher as well with the A1 Sportback having a height of 1.75 m (5.74 ft.) and the three-door A1 at 1.42 m (4.66 ft.).

Still, the wheelbase remains the same at 2.47 m (8.10 ft.). With aerodynamic features being fined-tuned, even the base version has excellent coefficient of drag with Cd of 0.32. As mentioned, it has the same design as that of the A1 and this is seen in the engine hood and how the hatch in the rear is able to encircle its body. There is also a shoulder line which goes around the whole vehicle with the roof flowing elegantly to the steeply sloped C-pillar along with the integrated spoiler transitions.

Speaking of the roof, the brand revealed that it will be offering to paint the A1 Sportback’s roofline, which consists of the roof, roof spoiler, and roof arch, in one out of three different contrasting colors. In terms of paint finishes, there will be 12 made available.

One of which is exclusive to this model -- Samoa Orange. For those who avail of the S line exterior package, they will get to experience the athletic and smart details. Audi declared that in the future, accessories offered under the A1 Sportback will have kits that have colorful decal sets and add-on parts, all of which are aerodynamic.

Going back to the design, the front end of the A1 Sportback is clearly dominated by the single-frame grille whose upper corners are beveled. With xenon plus lamps being offered for the headlights, the use of LEDs on its daytime running lights gives it a more consistent look. Its sculpted taillights meanwhile have been fitted with LEDs as well, specifically Super Red.

Topics: audi, audi a1, sportback

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