Hiding what seems to be an evolutionary design, the posh supermini is expected to move upmarket.
Is Audi going to play a game of spot the differences with the next A1’s exterior? It sure looks like it. Caught performing winter testing rounds in Scandinavia, the second generation of Audi’s smallest car was hiding its evolutionary design under a thin layer of swirly camouflage. Once again, it seems the folks from Ingolstadt are going to play it safe with the styling by not making any drastic changes over its predecessor.
Despite the disguise, some changes are already noticeable. The side mirrors have been repositioned and are now sitting higher, next to the A-pillars. The window line has been altered and is more angular at the rear doors, while the third-side windows seem to be missing, although those might be hiding underneath the camouflage. In addition, the taillights are a tad wider than before, just like the singleframe grille at the front.
The test car had a pair of halogen headlights, but most likely Audi will offer the next A1 with the option of all-LED headlights taking into account rumors indicate the supermini will be pushed further upmarket. It is believed the company with the four-ring logo has plans to axe the three-door model and sell the all-new A1 exclusively in the more practical five-door Sportback guise spotted here.
While the exterior design won’t be all that different, the cabin is bound to go through more significant changes to reflect the A1’s new position in the crowded supermini segment. Expect to see more soft-touch plastics and the option of an all-digital instrument cluster, while an upgraded MMI infotainment system will also be part of the package.
These reports about Audi’s plans to make the A1 more premium might have something to do with that rumor about a smaller city car due in 2019 with a lower price tag to serve as the entry-level model, thus allowing the A1 to be promoted.
Getting back to the second-gen A1, it will ride on the shortest adaptation of the MQB platform and will be offered with three- and four-cylinder gasoline and diesel turbocharged engines. A 1.0-liter will power the base model, while at the other end of the spectrum there will be an S1, with slim chances of seeing a full-blown RS1. Should you prioritize efficiency, a plug-in hybrid is likely on the agenda as well, but it’s too soon to say which gasoline engine will be teamed up to an electric motor.
While today’s A1 is being put together by Audi in Brussels, Belgium, its successor is going to be manufactured by SEAT at the Martorell factory in Spain and is expected to be launched at some point in 2018 as a 2019MY.