What is it?
The Audi A1 typifies the current market trend for ‘premium downsizing’, small cars offering many of the luxuries of their much larger siblings in a more compact package. But the premium downsizing trend in this latest version of the A1 only applies from the engine bay backwards, as over the front wheels sits a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine.
This 141bhp oil-burner is anything but downsized, and offers a set of big car performance figures as a result. It can crack 0-62mph in 8.2sec and reach a top speed of 135mph, but at the same time it offers small car economy figures of 68.9mpg and 108g/km.
What’s it like?
Great on paper, at least. Shame this doesn’t really transfer to an impressive drive. One of the great appeals of smaller-engined A1s is the way they blend peppy performance with agile handling. While the 2.0 TDI’s 236lb ft peak torque makes this A1 undeniably quick in a straight line, its significant trade-off is an increased kerb weight that harms the ride, handling and steering.