What is it?
It's the new five-door Audi A1. Or if you're Audi marketing personnel, it's the A1 Sportback.
Beyond the inclusion of the rear doors, the differences between the Sportback and the standard A1 are fairly subtle. The C-pillar is at a steeper angle, there's over 10mm more elbow and head room in the back and the rear bench now accommodates three rather than two passengers. There's no increase in seat-up boot capacity, so that remains at 270-litres.
For all the extra usefulness, Audi will charge you around £500 more over the three-door. From launch the Sportback is available with the core engines – 1.6 TDI, 1.2 TSI and 1.4 TSI (120 and 182bhp). A 2.0 TDI and the cylinder on-demand 1.4 TSI will go on sale later in 2012. We're testing the 1.6 TDI in Sport trim (which accounts for around 60 per cent of all A1s sold).
The diesel is only available with a five-speed manual 'box and will be one of the biggest sellers thanks to its headline figures of 99g/km and 74.3mpg combined.
What’s it like?
In its own way, it's exceptionally good. We're very familiar with the 104bhp 1.6 TDI motor, and it is still our least favourite powertrain in the A1. Whilst perfectly acceptable, the slightly lethargic response and gruff soundtrack is at odds with the otherwise encouraging dynamics. It's very fit for use, it just lacks the vivacious delivery of the petrols.