Sunday, March 7, 2010

Geneva 2010: Audi A1

2011 Audi A1

We've just returned from Audi's press conference here at the Geneva Motor Show, where Justin Timberlake has laid claim to one of the first A1 hatchbacks that comes off the line. Funny thing is, even with his undoubtedly massive bank accounts, the pop star won't be able to get one – at least not to park in front of any of his U.S. cribs. That's because Audi has announced that the entertaining-looking three-door isn't headed to the States. Given how the A3 has festered in darkened showroom corners in the American market, we can't exactly blame them for not importing an even smaller hatchback, but somehow we think this Mini Cooper-fighter might just find a market where the frumpier, more conventional A3 has stalled.

Available in Europe with four turbocharged, direct-injected engines (two TDI diesels, two gasoline), the A1 will be available with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic gearbox with optional paddle shifters. Thanks to standard start-stop and energy recuperation among other fuel-saving tricks, the A1 is estimated to reach between 44 miles-per-U.S.-gallon and 62 mpg on the European Cycle.

Audi is also showing an electrified concept version of the A1 as the latest in its e-tron family. Packing a t-shaped lithium-ion battery and a single-rotor Wankel rotary IC engine(!) along with a few external cues to hint at its extended-range hybrid technology, it also drew more than a few eyeballs.

[Source: Audi]


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