Tuesday November 22nd, 2011 11:37 Audi A1 Sportback: Vor-Spring durch Technik

Audi A1 Sportrack

Audi are set to augment their renowned subcompact range in spring 2012 with the release of the hotly-anticipated A1 Sportback.
Hitting showrooms in February, the über-sleek supermini is an upgrade on the three-door A1, already a huge seller for the German firm.
The Sportback features a comparable design to its sister model, though it is larger, more spacious and comes with an extra set of doors. As a result of this latter modification, the Sportback has added 25kg to its kerb-weight, though the improved space for rear passengers is a welcome enhancement.

Wider and taller than its A1 counterpart, the Sportback is aimed at young, trendy drivers, though don’t expect to have to flash photo ID and enter the showroom in skinny jeans and a Tweed jacket in order to purchase one. After all, you don’t have to fit any specific demographic to appreciate the choice of four turbo engines, including the fuel-efficient 1.5ltr TDI, whose emission levels are rated at just 99g/km. For some engines, Audi are even supplying a 7-gear S-tronic force transmission, letting you switch swiftly between gears.

Fitted with a five-seat layout as standard, with the four-seat configuration available as a no-cost option, Audi’s versatile newcomer refrains from upgrading the A1’s 270-litre boot, and looks sure to be a rival to MINI’s Cooper SD hatch. After all, who can quibble with the Audi Connect’s internet capabilities?

The campaign trail is already underway for Audi, and their latest promotional video (attests to the model’s sharp, city-friendly dimensions and gorgeous 16-inch alloy wheels.

An altogether smarter, cooler option than the A1, the Sportback comes with remote central locking, air conditioning, electric front and rear windows and mirrors, and a 6.5-inch retractable display with six-speaker single CD Concert audio system.
If the Sportback itself doesn’t satisfy you, there’ll be a 2.0-litre diesel option joining the top range later in 2012, boasting 141bhp and 0.62mph in 8.5 seconds sprint time. Sport model additions, meanwhile, include sports suspension, sports seats and a Driver’s Information System.
What’s to love about this car?  An awful lot, but let’s focus on its evolutionary styling: its coupe-like roof line, its integration of sporty looks with commendable economy of space, and its low CO2 emissions. If you’re after a car that you can truly feel good about driving – both from the point of view of fuel-efficiency and style – the Sportback can’t be faulted.

With prices starting from £14,527 and topping out at £21,270 (for the 1.4 TFSI with S-line trim), you can get your hands on one in February. In an Olympic year, there’s surely no better time to get back into sports than with the new Audi A1 Sportback.

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