Key among the mid-life upgrades to the entry-level Audi models, which are set to open for order later this month prior to deliveries next April, are new base three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.
Also on offer is a reworked chassis offering optional adaptive damping, as well as Audi’s Drive Select function, together with a widened range of infotainment and connectivity options, including Audi Connect and a Wi-Fi hotspot function.
With over 500,000 sales to date, the visual changes brought to A1 and A1 Sportback are predictably subtle. They include a lightly re-profiled front bumper featuring an altered six-corner single frame grille, revised headlamp graphics, more defined sills underneath the doors, new tail lamps graphics and a redesigned rear bumper.
The mild exterior changes add 20mm to the length of the A1, which now stretches to 3980mm overall.
As before, customers can choose between either a standard monotone and optional two tone paint scheme – the latter featuring a contrasting roof colour. Two new specifications, design and sport, have also been added to the long list of customisation options.
The facelifted A1 and A1 Sportback will be sold with the choice of six engines. Included are four TFSI direct-injection petrol units and two TDI diesels, all of which are described as being either completely new or heavily upgraded.
Making their premiere in the Audi line-up is a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder direct injection petrol and turbocharged 1.4-litre three-cylinder common rail diesel – both recently made available on the mechanically identical Volkswagen Polo.
The former, the first ever three-cylinder petrol engine to be offered in any Audi model, delivers 95bhp and endows the three-door A1 with claimed fuel consumption of 65.7mpg with average CO2 emissions of 99g/km.
The new 90bhp diesel, which provides the basis for the first ultra model in the A1 line-up - but is not yet confirmed for sale in the UK - is even more economical, providing official consumption of 83.1mpg and a CO2 figure of 89g/km.
Among the four cylinder engines to be offered is a 1.4 direct injection petrol unit with either 123bhp or 148bhp – the latter featuring cylinder on demand technology that closes down the middle two cylinder on part throttle loads for added fuel savings. They are joined by a 114bhp 1.6-litre common rail diesel and 189bhp 1.8-litre direct injection petrol engine.
Continuing to top the line-up is the four-wheel drive S1 and S1 Sportback, which retain the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct injection TFSI engine as before. With 231bhp, the engine provides respective 0-62mph acceleration times of 5.8 and in 5.9sec, a 155mph top speed, combined cycle consumption of 39.2mpg and 38.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 166g/km and 168g/km.
In a bid to provide the A1 and A1 Sportback with greater comfort and agility, Audi has reworked its chassis. Both models now come with the option of adaptive damping in combination with the German car maker’s Drive Select function. It allows the driver to alter the characteristics of the steering, damping, gearbox and throttle mapping in three stages at a turn of the car’s MMI rotary controller.
Further changes centre around the new Audi duo’s electro-hydraulic steering system, which is described as all-new and claimed to provide significantly reduced assistance at speed for added handling precision. Buyers can choose from a series of different wheel designs ranging in size from 15 up to 18-inch in diameter.