The 2019 Audi A1 is the second generation of Audi’s tiniest hatchback, now with more interior space, more tech and—most importantly—a meaner look. It honestly looks like a lot of fun, which makes me sad that we’re not likely to get one here in the states.
For years, the Audi A1 has been one of the many Europe-only cars that I’ve been lusting after. It just looks like a lot of fun, with its tiny dimensions and bright colors. The good news for the second-gen model is that, even though the car is a bit bigger, its quirky look hasn’t changed. Check out this yellow A1 with a black roof:
At 13.2-feet long, 5.7-feet wide and 4.6-feet tall, the A1 is just a bit longer than before, but not by much. Audi says in its press release that the new body, sprung by MacPherson struts up front and a torsion bea in the rear, is comprised of 27 percent composite material, and the car’s 22.3 squared foot frontal area—combined with its 0.31 drag coefficient—means it should cut through the air quite nicely, and score decent fuel economy.
Those gas mileage numbers aren’t out yet, but with tiny turbocharged direct-injected engines and advanced transmissions (a manual on all models, plus either a seven speed S Tronic dual-clutch or a six-speed S Tronic), there’s no doubt the new A1 will be easy on fuel. The base engine is a 1.0-liter inline-three making 95 horsepower, the top-spec motor is a 2.0-liter cranking out 200 horsepower, and a 1.5-liter engine sits somewhere in between.
Audi talks a lot about styling in its press release, saying the brand drew inspiration from the Ur-Quattro and Sport Quattro when designing the sloping c-pillar. I think it looks great from that rear three-quarter profile, with the lights looking a bit BMW-ish.
Up front, the new A1 has “implied side air inlets, “ which likely means “not-functional air inlets,” as well as three slits below the hood, which Audi says are an “homage to the Sport quattro, the brand’s rally icon from 1984.”
The interior looks modern and fun, with a nicely integrated Up-To-10.1-Inch infotainment screen at the center of the dash, a standard 10.25 digital instrument cluster, and nice little color accents around the shifter, behind the door levers and around the HVAC vents.
Like many cars these days, the new A1 gets more standard safety features like forward collision warning and lane departure warning, which both seem like good ideas for a car that will be driven through the crowded cities of Europe.
Audi says its goal was to to design “The sportiest interior in the compact class,” and while I can’t confirm that they’ve succeeded, it’s hard to argue with those yellow fabric seat inserts.
For the first time, A1 customers get to “combine exterior and interior lines however they like.” The Ingolstadt-based automaker describes these “lines,” saying there are three available for the exterior: basic, advanced or S line, which offer different grilles, “implied side air inlets,” bottom sections of both bumpers, diffusers and rear spoilers. The interior can be had in “advanced,” “design selection” and “S line,” which each offer different materials and colors, as well as dashboard trim.
Being able to pick and choose interior and exterior styling is one of the many things that makes the compact car class fun. And honestly, that’s what this A1 is all about, even if I do think the styling could be a bit happier.
All images by Audi