Audi A1

9 Mar 2010 | 1,314 views | No Comment
Just about any car enthusiast will tell you that some of the coolest cars on the planet--especially smaller ones--are sadly not available in the U.S. The latest example of that is Audi’s all-new A1, which made its debut recently at the Press Days Event at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. Well-done, fun to drive, and full of interesting features, the A1 would, we think, make a really terrific addition to Audi’s U.S. lineup. But the company says no--at least for now. Part of the problem, we suspect, is the belief that U.S. car buyers wouldn’t buy the car at the price level at which it would have to be sold.  And then of course, Audi already has the A3 in this market, and Audi knows it would have to be very careful that there is little or no overlapping.  A certain amount of space would have to be left between the price ranges of the two cars to make sure there’s no cannibalizing going on. But we think all of that may change--and soon. Any number of small cars are either planned or soon coming that will certainly be quite lavishly equipped, at least when we think about compact and sub-compact cars used to be equipped. Anybody who’s seen Ford’s Fiesta, Ford’s Focus and Chevy’s Cruze would tell you that they are hardly barebones rides. They are all quite desirable, and likely to be strong sellers. Secondly, we at Automobile Journal believe that with the upcoming federal CAFÉ gasoline mileage standards which require a car maker’s fleet to average 35 miles per hour by 2015, there will be plenty of scrambling and rearranging of car makers’ portfolios, and for many, that will mean the introduction of many new small cars to meet the customers demands for both better fuel mileage and more luxury features. And all of that sounds right up the new A1’s alley for sure. Just take a look at it! Style-wise, the A1 surely can’t be mistaken for anything else but an Audi--something which Audi readily tells you in the news release about the car. “ Styling cues placing the A1 in the Audi family include the side line with the distinctive roof arch, the coupe-like C-pillars, the large wheel wells and, of course, the front end with the typical single-frame grille. The hood and rear hatch encompass the body; the tail lights are three-dimensionally molded and present an unmistakable design, day or night, “ the company says. Inside, the company says, “The instrument panel is suggestive of an airplane wing; its four round air nozzles are reminiscent of the turbines of a jet. The clear ergonomics and the uncompromisingly high fit and finish typify the Audi brand’s high standards. Many lovingly designed details in the interior document the premium character of the Audi A1.”
  “In addition to the Attraction and Ambition trim lines, Audi also offers a media style package focused on infotainment and the interior design. The innovative materials and modern colors underscore the character of the A1. Whether colored air nozzles, LED interior lights or seat covers in expressive colors – customization is an important catchword. The equipment program offers countless opportunities for matching the A1 to the driver’s own personal style. There are even a variety of paint finishes from which to choose for the roof arch. Customers can order many of these features after the initial sale to follow a trend or a whim.” We don’t know about you, but we are salivating already. And we’re insanely jealous of Europeans who will be able to get their hands on this car. Plenty of luxury features will be available, including navigation systems topped by something that  Audi is calling “MMI navigation plus.“
 It’s described as a media center which “sets new standards in the compact segment, with a monitor that rises” up out of the dash. This connectivity package “offers the option of retrofitting an Audi map-based navigation system – a novelty in the automotive sector. The 465 watt Bose surround sound system is just one example of the complementary modules available.” Of course, if it’s an Audi, it’s going to be fast and fun to drive, right?
 Audi says that   it will offer four  different four cylinder engines, including two diesel (TDI) versions and two gasoline engines offering between 86 and 122 horsepower, and all of them will have direct fuel injection systems. Fuel economy will between 44 and 62 miles per gallon. The A1 is available with the seven-speed S tronic transmission. “The dual-clutch transmission changes gears extremely quickly, comfortably and without detectable interruptions in pulling power. It offers both automatic and manual modes, with paddles on the steering wheel available as an option,” Audi says. Let’s hope Audi changes its mind, and offers the A1 in the U.S.  If they do, we predict the lines will form to the left--with us at the front of it.

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