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2011 Audi A1 Debut - Web Exclusive

This car was developed to take out the Mini Cooper as highlighted by its cute size yet sporty styling.

Feb 10, 2010

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Eurp_1002_02_z+2011_audi_a1_debut+full_view Photo 2/8   |   2011 Audi A1 Debut - Web Exclusive

It's "the next big Audi", although it's not so big... Photos and video of the new Audi A1 were released today, which will finally place the manufacturer in the compact car class. Critics say the car was developed to take out the Mini Cooper as highlighted by its cute size yet sporty styling. According to Audi, the '11 A1 is intended to live within major cities under an urban environment. The small size will allow the car to park with ease and drive nimble in city traffic. It also offers a high degree of everyday functionality. As a bonus, Audi will allow several customization options within the interior. Audi truly wants to make the A1 the premium and benchmark in the small compact class segment.

Its exterior is what is most striking at first. Measuring 155.5" long, 68.5" wide and 56" tall, the A1 possesses an agile chassis and size. Styling is carried over from Audi's signature vehicles such as its distinctive roof arch, coupe-like C-pillars, large wheel wells and single frame grille. The tail lights are innovative from the Audi workshop with a three-dimensional design that's molded to the shape of the body.

The A1's interior is surprisingly spacious for its size. And its design is quite edgy with an instrument panel and air nozzles reminiscent of an airplane. Several trim lines will be offered as well as loads of customization options. From color-coded air nozzles and roofs to LED lights, the A1 offers plenty of options to make it your own. The optional entertainment system should also catch your interest with a pop-up 6.5" screen, 10-speaker 465-watt Bose surround sound system and 20GB hard drive. As far as storage is concerned, the A1 only has 9.43 cuft of space, but with the rear seats folded flat, there's 32.49 cuft of space.

With an optimized weight distribution and very dierect steering, the A1 should be a fun car to take hard into a corner. In total, four engines will be offered to start with two TDI and two TFSI applications ranging from 86-122hp. Fuel mileage will be one of the A1's stronger points with 43.56-61.9 mpg depending on the model. Each model will also have the option of Audi's seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch tranny.

The A1 will only be available in front-wheel drive and will make its grand public debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Priced at 16000 Euro ($21978 USD), the A1 should make quite the commotion when it officially arrives.

Motivation will be provided by a choice of either two gasoline or diesel powerplants, with the 1.6-liter TDIs churning out either 90 horsepower and 169 pound feet of torque or 105 ponies and 184 lb-ft of twist. The gasoline mills will be available in either 1.2- or 1.4-liter TFSI variants, with the former putting out 86 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque and the latter delivering 122 hp and 147 lb-ft through either a five- or six-speed manual. An optional seven-speed S tronic (dual clutch) transmission is available, and both gasoline engines deliver an average of 46 mpg. For the time being, the A1 is only available with front-wheel drive.

To watch Audi's short commercial on the A1, visit our YouTube page at



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