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Audi’s Small Car for India – A1

Posted by automobz on December 4, 2008

audi_a1_05Until some recent time back, there was not a single example in its line-up belonging to the burgeoning SUV segment. But German auto firm Audi realized the potential and launched the, now much famous and celebrated, Q7. Ever since then this fat, bulbous, heavy-at-the-arse SUV has been the vanguard of segment sales. Other SUVs in the offing are Q5 and ‘under-development’ Q3. And now, the four-ringed firm has become conscious about its presence in yet another lucrative sector – that being the small-car segment.

fiat-500The now BMW-owned Mini has enjoyed its time in the premium small-car segment since the time I was not even in puberty days and it continues to be one of the hottest hatchbacks, ever. Then came the Fiat 500 and things were not be the same. Everyone embraced the oh-it’s-cho-chweet micro car from the Italian major and the little 500 has been at the top of things everywhere. It has won numerous awards as well which makes it even more compelling a purchase. And the Abarth version is mad enough to kill you with joy and lunacy. Hence assumed, happy times are here to last!

audi_a1_01Trend has it that whenever Italy has come up with something interesting, Germany has fought back. Alright alright, so it has been limited to Ferraris and hyper Mercs thus far, but you know what, now the game is boiling down to the lower rung as well. Audi, after finally having realized the scope of small-car segment, is working on something called A1.

audi_a1_06The A1 sports a very 500-like silhouette, or so it at least appears. The C-pillar is very coupe-like and, I think, looks quite chic while the front end has the typical Audi-of-today bold look written all over it, owing to its hugely impressive and imposing grille section. The shoulder line too is strong and those prominent double-lines running across the sides lend it a certain character. The rear however is, what I believe, the most appealing portion of the car primarily because of those very in-yer-face tail lamps, twin exhaust pipes, that heavy bumper and an integrated spoiler in the rear window.

audi_a1_11The interior appears to fall in the ‘it-ain’t-that-bad’ spectrum when you talk of space and will accommodate four adults in decent comfort on the four independent chairs provided. If not for the funky instrument and centre console, it is all pretty straight forward and looks quite production ready. If you look closely at the picture here, you would be able to negotiate through all the techno stuff and point to an interface that looks quite like a music player. How cool is that!

audi_a1_04And the engine – although it is the petrol-electric hybrid making the waves where 1.4-litre sends 147.5bhp to the front wheels while a 30kW (40bhp) electric motor finds itself atop the rear axle hence creating the Quattro drive. Audi could not have used the term DSG because the parent company VW has that splashed all across the globe and patented it too, so Audi uses S-tronic as the term to explain its dual-clutch gearbox. It is this very gearbox that will harness the power of the engine. However, for India, we speculate a smaller, perhaps a 1.2L engine to do the honours under the hood of A1. The zestiest motor can be a 2.0-litre turbocharged motor.

Do not expect this baby Audi to arrive at our shores any time before the later part of 2010 or early 2011, but when it does, BMW’s Mini and Fiat’s 500 are assured of an intense battle.

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One Response to “Audi’s Small Car for India – A1”

  1. Tim said

    I just ran accross your blog and am impressed. Keep up the good work.

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