We can write the obituary of the three-door hatchback when they become an unviable part of the model mix even on a four-metre supermini as they have here. In light of the fact that less than one in five examples of the last A1 were sold as three-doors, Audi has elected to offer five-door Sportback versions only this time around. They will all be slightly longer five-doors than their predecessors, too, the A1 having grown by just over 50mm in overall length but otherwise maintaining its dimensions across the generations.
Adopting the same MQB-A0 model platform that the current VW Polo, Seat Ibiza and Skoda Scala all use, the A1’s wheelbase is a match for that of the Seat but for neither of the other relatives. Construction is conventional by class standards, with steel body panels fixed onto a steel monocoque chassis, and engines mounting transversely in the front and driving the front axle.
Diesel engines are the other items that the new A1 is moving beyond. Audi UK launched the A1 last year exclusively with 114bhp, 1.0-litre ‘30 TFSI’ turbo petrol power, and has added both less powerful and more powerful powertrain choices subsequently – but none are diesels.