New Audi A1 revealed: first official pics and details of the posh Ford Fiesta rival

Audi’s smallest car has been a big success for the brand, clocking up more than 830,000 sales since its launch back in 2011. Now there’s an all-new A1, promising more technology and improved practicality, and it goes on sale in showrooms next month.

The new A1, now available only as a five-door Sportback, is based on the same platform as the VW Polo and SEAT Ibiza. It’s longer, wider and lower than the car it replaces and will be produced by SEAT at the Spanish brand’s factory in Martorell. The second-generation A1 comes in at 4,030mm long, 1,740mm wide and 1,410mm tall; that’s 50mm lower than its Polo sister car.

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Audi has looked at one of its most iconic models for design inspiration for the new supermini; the car’s single- frame grille and three air inlets below the bonnet are said to be derived from the Sport quattro from the eighties. New full-LED headlamps have been added for the first time, while alloy wheels up to 18 inches in diameter are also available.

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New Audi A1 - rear

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Much has changed inside, too; the button-heavy dash and pop-up screen from the outgoing A1 have been ditched in favour of a slick MMI touchscreen infotainment system, adapted from the range-topping A8 luxury saloon.

Only flagship A1s get the largest 10.1-inch display; entry and mid-spec cars use an 8.8-inch screen. An option pack adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, although this is expected to be standard higher up in the range.

Every model comes with a fully digital instrument cluster in place of analogue dials behind the steering wheel. Optional kit includes wireless phone charging, a Bang & Olufsen stereo and Audi’s MMI navigation plus system, which bundles social media access, live traffic updates and Google Earth into the infotainment set-up.

Elsewhere, Audi says practicality has been greatly improved. Boot space has increased by 65 litres to 335 litres, and folding the rear bench frees up a total of 1,090 litres. Because the A1 has grown in length and width, Audi says there’s now more space for those inside, too.

Unlike the Polo and Ibiza, the new A1 will not have a diesel in its line-up. A range of three TFSI petrol engines is available from launch. A 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo comes in two states of tune, 95bhp (badged 25 TFSI) and 116bhp (30 TFSI). The 35 TFSI is powered by a 148bhp 1.5-litre turbo, while the flagship 40 TFSI model makes use of a 197bhp 2.0-litre turbo.

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New Audi A1 - steering wheel

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All versions are front-wheel drive and are offered with the option of six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearboxes. The flagship 40 TFSI, however, uses a six-speed S tronic auto. Alongside a standard suspension set-up, the brand offers a stiffer sport suspension package, while adaptive dampers are an option.

A raft of safety kit such as lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and a reversing camera makes its debut on the A1. Audi’s pre-sense system is also available and uses radar technology to detect vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists in poor conditions such as snow or rain, and alerts the driver with visual and acoustic warnings.

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