Next-generation A1 will grow in size due to its new MQB A Zero underpinnings

The 2018 Audi A1 will be larger and more luxurious than the current car due to its new MQB A0 underpinnings and improved interior technology.

Much like its cousins from Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat, Audi’s smallest model is expected to grow in both length and width, offering more leg room and increased boot space inside. Rear passengers will also benefit from more head room with that longer roofline.

2017 Seat Ibiza confirmed for July arrival

Additionally, the new underpinnings will improve structural rigidity while reducing weight thanks to the use of a so-called hybrid construction. The method, which was first employed in the Audi A8 late last decade, uses a combination of hot-formed steel and aluminium. However, due to the larger size of the next A1, it’s unlikely that the 2018 model will be lighter than the current car, which is 1035kg in its entry-level guise.

As shown by recent spy pictures, the next A1’s larger body means the compact dimensions of its predecessor are swapped for a more conventional hatchback shape. The car’s design does bear some resemblance to the larger A3, and the shape of its lights – both front and rear – certainly appear familiar to that car.

Audi is developing the 2018 A1 to be compatible with its Virtual Cockpit technology – something the current model hasn’t been able to adapt. The system will integrate Audi’s 12.3in display into the dashboard and work with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Top-spec models could be offered with wi-fi hotspot technology, too.

2017 Volkswagen Polo will be larger and lighter

Powering the new A1 will be a selection of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, the bulk of which will be related to units offered in the current car. Entry level spec will be a 1.0-litre three-cylinder, likely with more power than the current 94bhp.

Additionally, further developed versions of the current car’s 1.4 petrol and 1.6 diesel turbocharged engines are likely, with the former producing in excess of 150bhp and the latter offering more than 72.4mpg combined.

Industry trends suggest a hybrid model could also be produced, and the Volkswagen e-Up proves the VW Group has an interest in producing electric powertrains for its smallest existing models.

Following the launch of the next Audi A1 range, the S1 will arrive as the high-performance range-topper. Like the current hot hatch, it’ll make use of a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine and four-wheel drive, but power will be ramped up beyond today’s 228bhp. An output of around 250bhp has been mooted for the next S1’s four-pot, bringing it closer to the discontinued A1 Quattro model and its five-cylinder engine.

The next S1’s power would be unlikely to increase beyond that figure, however, so as not to overtake the output of the upcoming Audi RS1, which is due later this year with 280bhp. If the 2017 RS1 is a sales success, Audi may also consider producing one towards the end of the run life of its next-generation A1 range.

Audi A1 to be built at Seat’s Martorell plant

Our Verdict

Audi A1

The A1 is a stylish, high quality and competent supermini, if a little expensive, but does it have the edge over the Mini hatch, Seat Ibiza and the Ford Fiesta?

Join the debate


13 January 2017
"Much like its cousins from Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat, Audi’s smallest model is expected to grow in both length and width, offering more leg room and increased boot space inside."

It's easy.

Why larger and larger ???

13 January 2017
VAG are cost cutting left, right and centre, so building the new A1, Polo, Ibiza and Fabia on the same platform as the A3, TT, Q2, Q3 (?), Golf, Passat, Tiguan, Touran, Leon, Ateca, Octavia and Kodiaq will save them a few quid.

13 January 2017
"Audi’s smallest model is expected to grow in both length and width..."

So tired of cars doing this and not remaining the size people are attracted to, a size that fits that market segment! Is it just laziness that makes manufacturers not package their vehicles better internally?

13 January 2017
I hate cars getting bigger and bigger. Superminis are no longer mini. Car journalism has to take it's share of the blame. They compare cars that are supposed to be in the same class based on internal dimensions, but usually forget about external. So it is an arms race that leads to bigger cars. Then you get stories like this that report size increases positively. Smaller and lighter is where we want to be going for fun and the environment.

14 January 2017
Bigger and more luxurious hmmm? Not to mention just as bland looking as most of the current Audi range.

14 January 2017
I agree with all of the above concerning size.
Especially with larger cars, this relentless increase in width clogs up narrow city streets and car parking spaces.
A larger A1 will give Audi the opportunity to introduce an A0, then A minus one, A minus two ...
Maybe Audi should go into the shoe business.

14 January 2017
I don't think that the human race is evolving so quickly as the life cycle of the average car. If it was deemed perfectly good enough at launch

15 January 2017
Agree with the above comments. Starting to think thoughabout with every nexttime generation of the model gets bigera. I wonderthink how long before we get to the 1950's & 60's era American barges.

15 January 2017
It won't happen in the UK as the roads / garages / parking spaces / people will remain the same size. All that will happen is that models will shuffle off and die. For Ford, in 20 years, the Mondeo would have gone because no one wants a S Class sized volume model. The Focus will be Mondeo sized and will be severely declining in sales. In the meantime, the Ka and Fiesta will be the volume sellers. They would have introduced something below the Ka to take its place.

15 January 2017
They're getting rid of the 3 door? That will be a damn shame.

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