Athletic DNA

The Audi A1 Sportback* is a classy automotive companion to an urban lifestyle. At first sight, many Audi aficionados will also be instantly reminded of a certain rally icon.

By Jan Strahl (copy) & AUDI AG (photo)


While some might view the three striking slits directly beneath the hood of the new Audi A1 Sportback* as little more than a bit of sporty decoration, there’s a lot more to them. With them, the designers harken back to a racing icon, referencing the legendary Sport quattro from 1984. And it’s not just this one detail but the entire exterior design that pays homage to the lineage of that spirited rally legend. A wide wheelbase and short overhangs give the Audi A1 Sportback* an athletic, masculine look. The broad Singleframe grille is low-slung and, coupled with the hint of side air inlets, dominates the distinctive front end. All side contours from the window edge to the sill slope upward toward the rear, creating a wedge shape that lets the Audi A1 Sportback* crouch on the road compact, powerful and ready to pounce. Alongside nods to the car’s rally heritage, the design also alludes to another thrilling sport. Eye-catching daytime running light graphics within the optional full-LED lights echo sailing’s dynamic wing shapes known as hydrofoils. The shutters designed for the main light functions similarly take their cue from this water sport.


Contrast effects round out the fresh, stylish palette of exterior colors with options for further customization. On request, the roof can be finished in a contrasting color. Exterior mirror housings, side front spoiler lips and the side sills are also available in a contrasting color. So buyers can put their personal stamp on the car in a number of ways. Thanks to the new modular lines structure, Audi A1 Sportback* customers can freely combine interior and exterior packages. In other words, this is the first time different packages for a car’s interior and exterior can be chosen as added extras.


The sporty aesthetic segues seamlessly into the vehicle interior. All of the controls and the optional MMI touch display have a driver-centric design, strongly emphasizing the cockpit feel of the cabin and weaving the exterior’s rally features into the interior. This impression is further enhanced by the controls and displays. A fully digital instrument cluster with a high-resolution, 10.25-inch display and a multifunction steering wheel come as standard. Positioned directly in the driver’s line of sight, the Audivirtual cockpit can be added as an option.

The new Audi A1 Sportback* can be ordered from summer 2018 and reaches the European market in fall 2018.

The infotainment concept in the compact Audi A1 Sportback* echoes the four rings’ full-size class, with the top configuration—the optional MMI Navigation plus—sporting a 10.1-inch touchscreen display. In conjunction with Audi connect services, drivers can, for example, use hybrid route guidance that harnesses high-performance cloud servers to calculate the route, taking the current traffic situation into account from start to finish. This system combines onboard and online information in order to adjust the route in real time. What’s more, vivid new 3D city models provide detailed views of numerous city centers with all their buildings.


Despite the driver-centric interior, there’s no shortage of space. In fact, compared to the previous vehicle generation, the Audi A1 Sportback* is significantly more capacious, with the driver as well as front and rear passengers enjoying more leg and headroom. Luggage capacity, too, has increased by 65 liters to 335 liters in the standard configuration. When the rear seats are folded down, this rises to 1,090 liters, making it possible for Audi A1 Sportback* owners to transport larger objects. And thanks tothe comfortably low 67-centimeter-high loading sill, it’s also easy to pack and unpack them.


Whether spending a day in town or taking a weekend excursion to the countryside or coast, a choice of powerful gasoline engines make the drive part of the fun. From the entry-level version to the top of the range, all power plants come with turbocharging and direct injection as standard. Configured to match each engine version, the optional dynamic packages boost the Audi A1 Sportback’s* sporty credentials in terms of both handling and looks. The “Performance” dynamic package, for one, includes red brake calipers and a sport suspension with adjustable dampers, among other features. This adds the finishing touches to the designers’ vision of an urban lifestyle companion that pays homage to the great era of rally racing.

*Audi A1 Sportback fuel consumption combined (in l/100 km): 5.8–3.8. CO2 emissions combined (in g/km): 134–97.
Further information on the official fuel consumption and specific CO2 emissions figures for new passenger cars can be found in the Guideline for Fuel Consumption, CO2 Emissions and ElectricPower Consumption, which is available free of charge at all car dealerships as well as DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern, Germany or at