|Audi A1 Sportback. Click to enlarge.|
The new Audi A1 Sportback, which will go on-sale in 2012, is a five-door version of the compact 3-door A1. Buyers in Europe will be able to choose between three TFSI gasoline and three TDI diesel four-cylinder direct-injection engines producing between 63 kW (86 hp) and 136 kW (185 hp). Audi pairs some engines with the seven-speed S tronic transmission.
All the engines follow the downsizing principle of substituting forced induction for displacement. All versions except the 1.6 TDI with S tronic and the most powerful gasoline engine are equipped with a start-stop system.
The base engine, the 1.2 TFSI, produces 63 kW (86 hp), with fuel consumption of 5.1 liters per 100 km (46.1 mpg US). The two 1.4-liter TFSI engines produce 90 kW (122 hp) and 136 kW (185 hp). The top-of-the-line gasoline engine is supercharged and turbocharged, resulting in 250 N·m (184.4 lb-ft) of torque, a zero-to-100 km/h (62 mph) time of 7.0 seconds and a top speed of 227 km/h (141 mph).
Three TDI units round out the lineup. The 1.6-liter engine is available in two different versions, with 66 kW (90 hp) and 77 kW (105 hp). When paired with a manual transmission, both versions consume 3.8 liters of fuel per 100 km (61.9 US mpg) on average, which corresponds to 99 grams of CO2/km (159.3 g/mile). The 105 kW (143 hp) 2.0 TDI to follow later accelerates the A1 Sportback to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.5 seconds, yet its average fuel consumption is 4.1 liters of fuel per 100 km (57.4 US mpg).
Audi offers the seven-speed S tronic as an option with the 1.4 TFSI with 90 kW (122 hp) and 1.6 TDI with 66 kW (90 hp); it comes standard with the top TFSI model with 136 kW (185 hp).
The driver can let the seven-speed S tronic, which also includes a hill hold assist, shift automatically or control it manually. Shift paddles on the steering wheel are available as an option. The manual transmissions with a five-speed or six-speed gearbox depending on the engine are available.
The Audi A1 Sportback is 3.95 meters (12.96 ft) long and has a wheelbase of 2.47 meters (8.10 ft), just like the three-door model. It is six millimeters (0.24 in) wider and taller than the three-door model, however, at 1.75 meters (5.74 ft) and 1.42 meters (4.66 ft), respectively. Its aerodynamics have been fine-tuned so that the base version has a coefficient of drag of 0.32.
High- and ultra high-strength steels comprise roughly two-thirds of the A1 Sportback’s body. The strongest of these are the hot-shaped steels, which are used primarily in the occupant cell. A large temperature increase during the shaping process lends them their extremely high tensile strength. Hot-shaped steels make thinner walls and thus a lower weight possible.
The lightweight body lays the groundwork for the low gross weight—the A1 Sportback 1.2 TFSI weighs 1,065 kilograms (2,347.92 lb). The body is also very rigid and impact-resistant yet quiet on the road.