MONACO -- Audi has reduced the A1's CO2 emissions to below 100 grams per kilometer. It did so by adding three-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines to the premium subcompact's powertrain lineup as part of the car's mid-cycle refresh.
It's the first time Audi has offered a three-cylinder gasoline engine and the first time in a decade that a three-cylinder diesel will be part of the brand's powertrain portfolio. Audi's last three-cylinder diesel was offered in the all-aluminum A2, which was discontinued in 2005.
Audi's new 95-hp 1.0-liter gasoline unit emits 99g/km of CO2, down from the 118g/km offered by the car's previous entry-level gasoline engine, a four-cylinder 86-hp 1.2-liter TFSI. The A1's most frugal diesel is now the 90-hp 1.4-liter unit that emits 89g/km of CO2. The model's previous entry diesel was a 90-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder that produced 110g/km of CO2.
“The new downsized engine range permitted us to improve fuel economy and emissions by up to 15 percent, while increasing power and performance,” said Jorg Fuchs, who is project manager for the A1 and its performance variant, the S1.
Audi will begin sales of the updated A1 in the first quarter of next year. The starting price in Germany will be 19,200 euros.
The A1 is a crucial part of Audi's bid to pass BMW and become the world's top-selling premium automaker by 2020. Audi estimates that the A1 has brought it about 400,000 new customers.
“Conquests account for about four out of every five sales from the 500,000 A1s we've sold globally since the model was launched in 2010,” said Petra Voith-Hase, from Audi's product marketing team.
Neither BMW nor Daimler's Mercedes-Benz brand offer a direct competitor to the A1, which is a rival to entry-models sold by BMW's Mini brand and Daimler's Smart subsidiary.
The updated A1 offers options that are unique to the segment such as a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission, available on the entire engine range, and adjustable shock absorbers. Customization possibilities include a choice of five different colors for the A1 three-door hatchback's roof and seven different colors for the five-door A1 Sportback's roof and pillars. All A1 come in four-seat configurations while the A1 Sportback can be ordered with five seats at no extra charge.