Audi has released photos and details of the Audi A1 Sportback prior to its official launch at the 2008 Paris Motor Show starting tomorrow. Based on the three-door Audi A1 project quattro shown in 2007, the Audi A1 Sportback is a five-door, four-seater subcompact.
The Audi A1 Sportback measures just 3.99 meters long (13.09 ft) and 1.75 meters wide (5.74). Power comes from a 1.4L TFSI engine that produces 150-hp with an S-tronic dual-clutch transmission that drives power to the front wheels. A 27-hp electric motor allows for an additional 110 lb-ft of torque when accelerating. Onboard lithium-ion batteries provide power to the electric motor for 62.14 miles of zero emission driving.
0 to 62 mph for the A1 Sportback comes in 7.9 seconds with a top speed of 124.27 mph. Fuel-economy is estimated at 60.31 mpg. Very impressive.
Click through for high-res photos and the press release.
Audi A1 Sportback concept:
Compact five-door model with hybrid drive
Audi A1 Sportback concept
At the Paris Motor Show (October 2-10, 2008), Audi is unveiling the
A1 Sportback concept study: following on from the Audi A1 project quattro,
the three-door show car presented in 2007, this is a concept for a five-door
four-seater for the sub-compact class ““ once again exhibiting all the
characteristics of a genuine Audi. The 3.99-meter long (13.09 ft) and
1.75-meter wide (5.74 ft) vehicle combines cutting-edge, dynamic styling with
optimum economy of space and supreme quality. At the same time, a series of
visionary technical solutions take efficiency, dynamism and motoring
pleasure into new territory as only Audi knows how.
Audi is presenting another version of the innovative hybrid technology in the
drive unit for the A1 Sportback concept. At work under the hood is a 1.4-litre
TFSI engine developing 110 kW (150 hp), whose power is directed to the front
wheels by means of the S tronic dual-clutch transmission. A 20 kW (27 hp)
electric motor integrated in the drive train is able to deliver up to an additional
150 Nm of torque (110.63 lb-ft) when the vehicle is accelerating. During the
boosting phase, i.e. when the TFSI engine and electric motor operate
simultaneously to enable a sporty driving style, the two power packs deliver
impressive propulsion. The tried-and-tested front-wheel drive ““ supplemented by
the newly developed, ESP-controlled active front differential lock ““ ensures
optimum transfer of power to the road.
The electric motor is furthermore capable of powering the vehicle alone for zeroemission
driving in residential areas, for instance. The capacity of the lithium-ion
batteries gives the vehicle a range of up to 100 km (62.14 miles) in pure electric
mode; the motor can be recharged from any power socket. The automatic
start/stop facility, energy regeneration and phases of purely electrical operation
reduce the fuel consumption and emissions of the Audi A1 Sportback concept by
almost 30 percent compared to when it is running on the combustion engine
alone. Despite its sporty performance, with acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h
(62.14 mph) in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 200 km/h (124.27 mph), the Audi
A1 Sportback concept requires only 3.9 liters of premium fuel per 100 km
(60.31 US mpg); CO2 emissions are an efficient 92 g/km (148.06 g/mile)
The difference is not down to the two extra doors alone: the styling of the fivedoor
concept vehicle is a consistent development of the three-door study, the Audi
A1 project quattro from the year 2007. Surfaces and lines are distinctly tauter and
The basic proportions, with a high vehicle body and a flat window area bordered
by a coupe-like roof line, produce a virtually classic look for a vehicle bearing the
four rings. The rear end is rounded off by a two-part spoiler with a striking centre
groove, integrated into the rear window.
The side-on view presents another typical coupe attribute in the form of doors
with frameless windows and a glass-covered and thus homogeneously integrated
B-pillar. The bold segmentation of the study’s side paneling with its gently rising shoulder line accentuates the styling.
The shoulder line of the Audi A1 Sportback concept with its Daytona Grey paint
finish is a new interpretation of yet another trademark feature of the current Audi
design. Here, the prominent double lines continue around the entire vehicle as a
curvaceous band that links the front end ““ from which it seems to emerge ““ with
the vehicle’s tail, which rises to create a slightly wedge-shaped effect.
The aerodynamically designed single-frame grille indicates the sporty ambitions
of the study, which are further emphasized by the flared fenders ““ a tribute to the
legendary Ur-quattro design and the current Audi RS 6.
The design of the three-dimensional main headlights in innovative LED
technology is especially eye-catching. The completely new styling underlines yet
again the amount of freedom that this technology has afforded to designers. All
light functions ““ low-beam and high-beam headlights, daytime running lights and
turn indicators ““ have been located in one flat housing, in concentrically arranged,
parallel and squared-off strips.
The layout, with light segments of varying sizes ““ the low beam taking up most
space ““ completely changes the character of the front section, the “face” of the
A1 Sportback concept.
The rear lights, too, continue this theme and combine the function of tail and
brake lights, turn indicators, reversing and rear fog lights into an unmistakable
design. The interplay of acute and obtuse angles and the clear and colored glass
areas create a particularly dynamic look. A large-dimensioned, transparent cover
over the entire width of the vehicle additionally combines both light units and
emphasizes the horizontal design of the rear.
Like the three-door version, the body of the four-door Audi A1 Sportback concept
makes optimum use of the small road surface area available to a vehicle from the
premium compact class. Measuring 3.99 m long (13.09 ft) and 1.75 m wide
(5.74 ft) with a wheelbase of 2.46 m (8.07 ft), it succeeds in combining sporty
looks with impressive economy of space thanks to its short overhangs. The
transverse installation of the engine also has a significant role to play in this
respect. The third dimension of this compact, sporty car ““ i.e. the height ““ comes
in at 1.40 meters (4.59 ft).
The interior, with its four individual seats and a surprisingly generous amount of
spaciousness for this class, has a tidy, no-frills appearance. The curved, wraparound
section combines the doors and the sporty cockpit into one single unit. The
dashboard and center console are designed entirely around the driver.
Ergonomics and aesthetics unite to create an ambience of clear-cut architecture
and high-class appeal. Details such as the turbine-look air vents and air
conditioning controls seem to be straight out of a jet plane. This is where
advanced form and precise function are combined in typical Audi fashion: air
flow direction and volume can be regulated simply and intuitively by turning or
pressing the control button in the centre of the vent.
The center console accommodates the integrated selector lever, only extended in
drive select dynamic mode, the start/stop button for the engine, the switch for
Audi drive select and the armrest with an integrated mobile phone pocket.
The sporty seats with integrated head restraints offer levels of comfort and
ergonomics that far exceed the customary standards in the sub-compact class and
live up to the expectations of a typical Audi. A transparent, mesh-like fabric
covers the lightweight seat apertures, which further accentuates the airiness of the
The materials used for the interior trim appeal with their high-class looks and feel.
The contrasting color scheme for the interior ““ white and red ““ emphasizes the
feeling of spaciousness.
Audi mobile device ““ the second generation
Whereas the Audi A1 project quattro study featured its own mobile control unit
for infotainment and vehicle systems, the A1 Sportback concept takes one step
further into the future: the driver can use his commercially available mobile phone
(equipped accordingly) as a car phone, address database, navigation system and
audio/video player. At the same time it can be used as a control unit for numerous
vehicle systems in the Audi A1 Sportback concept. Several phones that are
suitable for these functions are already available from various manufacturers.
All that is required is some additional software, which Audi will provide on the
internet for the driver to download and install. He can then enter his route plan or
adjust the sound system to his individual preferences, all from the comfort of his
own home, for example.
The mobile phone and vehicle communicate via a fast WLAN connection, even
over considerable distances.
The system also offers the user a security function: within the range of the WLAN
it can constantly monitor the current status of the vehicle, for instance whether all
windows and doors are closed. What”s more, the additional software offers
numerous comfort and convenience features such as continued destination
guidance on the mobile device after the vehicle has been left in a car park. If the
user sets a maximum parking time with the device, its navigation software leads
him back to the Audi A1 Sportback concept ““ in good time of course, allowing for
the current distance from the vehicle.
During the journey the mobile device demonstrates its strength as a portable
media player. If the user listens to a song in a certain driving situation ““ on the
motorway, for example ““ it is entered in an appropriate playlist. The software
registers when and where the user prefers to listen to particular songs. The music
is then available at the right moment.
The MMI control unit in the vehicle is a further development of the familiar
design. In terms of feel it is easier to operate, particularly while driving. Grouped
around the central rotary pushbutton are four fixed-function hardkeys for the
Navigation, Telephone, Car and Media basic menus. Four additional, backlit
softkeys have variable functions which change within the individual menus.
The projected softkey labels combine with the bold softkey colors that identify the
corresponding menus to ensure swift, intuitive user orientation.
All system information appears in the central display in the instrument cluster.
This is designed in its entirety as a digital, freely configurable display with no
mechanical elements. Superimposed glass elements make the graphics stand out
with a three-dimensional look, producing a level of depth which could never be
attained using a standard display.
As well as the virtual, large circular dial of the analog speedometer, which is
always visible on the right-hand side of the instrument cluster, numerous other
displays can be called up on request, and can be selected via control buttons on
the steering wheel. These include infotainment, classic navigation by pictogram or
map, a rev counter, information on how to drive as efficiently as possible and a
current status report on the hybrid drive.
The layout of the infotainment display features icons arranged in a semicircle. As
the driver turns the central MMI rotary pushbutton, the icons mimic the
movement until the desired function is selected by pushing the button. Content
can therefore be communicated visually, enabling it to be grasped faster and more
intuitively than pure text.
Audi drive select
The Audi A1 Sportback concept features Audi drive select, which is also available
as an option in the current generation of the Audi A4 bestseller. This enables the
driver to pre-select one of two specially adapted configurations for the drivetrain,
shift characteristics and magnetic ride shock absorbers.
The default setting is the “efficiency” mode. In this mode, the engine and
transmission respond gently to use of the accelerator and shift paddles. This
setting is ideal for a relaxed driving style, as well as offering tremendous potential
for effectively lowering fuel consumption, and therefore emissions too.
In the “efficiency” mode the Audi A1 Sportback concept can be used for distances
of up to 100 kilometers (62.14 miles) in purely electric mode ““ and it is quite
speedy, too: thanks to the powerful battery it is possible to reach a speed of
considerably more than 100 km/h (62.14 mph). The combustion engine only cuts
in again once battery capacity has dropped to below 20 percent of maximum.
In this mode, the electric motor is not deployed as a source of additional torque;
instead it is run selectively as the sole power source to bring about a tangible
reduction in consumption. For this purpose, the system makes use of a host of
parameters which can be fed to it via the navigation system. In the “efficiency”
mode, for example, with a fully charged battery and a distance of less than
50 kilometers (31.07 miles) the vehicle is operated in principle on purely electrical
Thanks to the navigation system”s ability to detect differences in altitude along the
route, regeneration phases as well as the increase in energy requirements on
inclines can be computed before the journey has even started. This makes vehicle
operation even more efficient through optimum utilization of the electric motor.
The sport mode is designed to produce the dynamic yet comfortable driving
sensation that is so typical of the brand and that Audi drivers have come to expect
of their car. In this mode, the vehicle”s electronics also harness the torque
available from the electric motor to achieve extra-sporty acceleration along with
excellent lateral dynamics.
Characteristic Audi sportiness plus a whole new dimension in efficiency ““ it is all
down to the combination of a state-of-the-art turbocharged FSI engine with an
electric motor and innovative control electronics.
Under the hood of the Audi A1 Sportback concept sits a four-cylinder TFSI with a
capacity of 1.4 liters and a turbocharger. This engine is an advanced version of the
unit that made its series production debut in the Audi A3. Whereas the 1.4 TFSI
musters 92 kW (125 hp) in the A3, it delivers 110 kW (150 hp) at 5,500 rpm in
the study. Its peak torque of 240 Nm (177.01 lb-ft) is on tap over a broad rev band
from 1,600 ““ 4,000 rpm.
The Audi engineers have long since proven the performance potential of
turbocharged FSI technology, both on race tracks around the world and out on the
road. Indeed, a jury of experts awarded the accolade of “Engine of the Year” to
the 2.0 TFSI for the fourth year in succession in 2008.
The new 1.4 TFSI builds on this very same concept in order to maximize
efficiency and performance. Multi-hole injectors result in very homogeneous
mixture formation and extremely efficient combustion. This is also an effective
means of helping to cut pollutant emissions.
The integrated turbocharger promises optimized responsiveness and even more
harmonious torque build-up. 80 percent of peak torque can be summoned up from
as low down as 1,250 rpm, in other words barely above idling speed. And despite
its power, the 1.4 TFSI sets new benchmark standards in its class for its acoustic
Power transmission to the front wheels is the task of the sporty Audi S tronic
dual-clutch gearbox. It allows the driver to change gear in fractions of a second
without the use of a clutch pedal and with no interruption to the power flow. If
required, the transmission performs the gear changes fully automatically, too. If
the driver wishes to change gear manually, he can do so by using the shift paddles
mounted on the steering wheel. Reverse gear and neutral are engaged via the gear
knob on the centre console. The park position is automatically selected when the
electric parking brake is engaged.
Between combustion engine and transmission sits the 20 kW (27 hp) electric unit,
which cuts in automatically depending on the selected operating mode ““ or
propels the vehicle alone. The battery unit ““ a package of compact lithium-ion
batteries ““ is installed at the rear of the vehicle, which makes for a good weight
When powered solely by the combustion engine or purely by the electric motor,
and when both are used in the boost mode, the A1 Sportback concept operates as a
front-wheel drive vehicle. The high torque of 390 Nm in total (287.64 lb-ft) ““
240 Nm (177.01 lb-ft) from the 1.4 TFSI plus an extra 150 Nm (110.63 lb-ft) from
the electric motor ““ is transformed into the required level of tractive power when
Overrun, or the so-called regeneration phase, is one of the most important
instruments of this vehicle concept for optimizing efficiency as it transforms the
braking energy released during deceleration phases back into electrical energy,
instead of it being wasted and released as heat.
The Audi A1 Sportback concept can in principle run self-sufficiently, using mixed
operation of the combustion engine and electric motor. Thanks to the intelligent
management of both units, energy regeneration as well as the automatic start/stop
function, fuel consumption is almost 30 percent lower compared to a vehicle
running on the gasoline engine alone. Although the components of the electric
motor add around 40 kilograms to the overall weight, the study still only burns
3.9 liters of premium fuel per 100 km (60.31 US mpg) in mixed mode, while CO2
emissions average just 92 g/km (148.06 g/mile).
Pure electrical operation over shorter distances, however, is a particularly
attractive alternative offered by this vehicle that benefits the environment and the
wallet alike ““ all the more so considering that the performance achieved in this
mode and the range of over 50 kilometers (31.07 miles) are perfectly satisfactory.
“Refueling” the Audi A1 Sportback concept from power sockets alone, therefore,
produces an unequivocal result: even allowing for the relatively high costs of
domestic electricity in Germany, it is still possible to achieve a saving or more
than 80 percent compared with the price of premium fuel. Thanks to “zero
emissions” the benefit to the environment is even greater, particularly in
congested urban areas.