What is it?
The lightly facelifted A1. There are a number of detail changes – some which require a forensic exam to spot – but the headline alteration is a worthy one: namely, the introduction of Audi’s first three-cylinder petrol engine.
The 94bhp 1.0-litre unit, coming soon to the Volkswagen Polo and sporting both a turbocharger and direct injection, replaces the 1.2 TFSI and provides the range with a petrol-powered, tax-free A1 to rival the latest Mini.
Around this new star, Audi has clustered familiar engines in their latest, ever more frugal EU6 guises. The 1.4 TFSI can now be had with cylinder deactivation or without, while the 1.6 TDI now offers CO2 emissions of 92g/km and as much as 80.7mpg on the combined fuel economy cycle. All can now be had with Audi's seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, although five-speed and six-speed manual units remain standard.
In styling terms, the A1 sports the traditional party pack of new grille and bumpers and yet another configuration of headlight design. Underneath, the supermini becomes the last Audi to adopt electric power steering and has also had adaptive dampers added to the options list for the first time.
As a result, the standard fitment of Audi's Drive Delect system on Sport and S-line variants makes sense. Aside from that switch, little else – save some trim choices and option packs – has changed inside. The three-pot engine driven here isn’t available to order until the new year (its price and performance remain preliminary figures), but the rest of the range, starting at £15,390 for the oil-burning three-door SE, can be reserved now for delivery in the spring.