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Audi A1 news - Finally, Audi’s Mini is here - 2010

It’s been so long it almost feels like this
car has been and gone already, but Audi has finally revealed its new A1.

See more pics of Audi’s Mini rival

Like Citroen with its DS3, this is Audi’s Polo/Ibiza/Fabia-based
attempt to take a bite out of the small/sporty/luxury market that Mini is
defending so fiercely.

And on paper, at least, it looks like a
contender. It balances that Mini trick of offering a reasonable level of kit
plus a load of custom options to make the car your own (reads ‘bump up the list
price without you realising’).

Let’s start outside. You’ll note up front
the LED daytime running lights – shaped a little like those on the A8 and R8 to
give a little upmarket exclusivity. That A-to-C-pillar roof arch thing can be specified
in contrasting colours and the black diffuser at the back is standard on all

Inside, aeroplanes are said to be an inspiration (talk about kicking Saab when its down). The dash is supposed to be
vaguely wing-shaped, while the vents look like jet turbines. Whatever the
marketing-chatter, it looks posh enough (if not quite quirky enough) to
distract buyers from the Mini’s retro style.

There are three trim levels, entry-level,
Sport and S-Line. Sports seats are standard on – you guessed it – the top two,
and if you want leather you can have it.

Other interior toys to pluck from the
options list will include funky trim colours, heated seats and an LED interior
light kit. There’s also a version of the ‘infotainment’ system found in Audi’s big
luxury saloons, which incorporates 20Gb of hard drive space for music and
satellite navigation.

Engine-wise, there will be two petrols and
two diesels at launch. The headliner will be the 1.4TFSi with 120bhp, capable
of 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds, or 9.1 with the optional flappy-paddle gearbox. Your
other petrol option is the 1.2TFSi offering 85bhp, 55.4mpg and, for cheaper
tax, 119g/km.

Diesels are both 1.6-litre – one tuned for
104bhp and a claimed 72.4mpg, the other 89bhp and 74.3mpg. The less powerful
unit sneaks in at 99g/km CO2.

We’ll get our first chance to see the car
properly at Geneva next month. Prices are expected to start at around £13,000.

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