Our first look at the Audi A1, of a fashion, was as the Metroproject Quattro concept at the Tokyo motor show in 2007, and it’s a credit to Audi’s design studio that it made it through to production virtually unscathed. Even debadged, it would be recognisable as not just the son of Metroproject but also the product of Audi, and trademark signatures like LED running lights abound.
Beneath the uniquely Audi exterior lines, meanwhile, lies something altogether more familiar. The VW Group is the master of sharing platforms and architecture, but never before has quite such a brazen attempt been made to justify the price of an Audi that uses the same underpinnings as a Seat Ibiza.
The A1’s wrap-over bonnet looks noticeably large against the A1’s short wheelbase but it links the A1 to Audi’s sporting models, the TT and R8. The grille marks a departure from the traditional trapezoidal Audi shape, with an additional side introduced in each of the top two corners.
This contrasting roof line is a relatively cheap option and comes in four different colours, depending on the main body colour. Polished tailpipes, along with front foglights, help identify Sport models. S-line trim adds significantly to the price, but adds revised front and rear valances and a roof spoiler.