Audi A1 Sportback concept
Efficient and dynamic driving fun
Sportiness and efficiency
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.
Turbocharged FSI technology
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 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. 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 output too.
Up to 30 percent lower consumption of fuel
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 balance.
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 accelerating.
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).
“Refueling” from power sockets
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.
The fundamental ingredient for outstanding driving safety and handling dynamics is supplied by the sophisticated chassis design, comprising McPherson front suspension and four-link independent rear suspension. Large 18-inch wheels with size 225/35 R18 tires boost both driving pleasure and safety. Thanks to the newly developed active, ESP-controlled front differential lock, propulsive torque is distributed according to the driving situation, thereby achieving enhanced steering precision and superior directional stability as well as improved traction and dynamic handling when cornering.
The braking system with its large-diameter discs (measuring 312 mm across (12.28 in) at the front wheels) is more than a match for the drive power. Bred on the racetrack, the system promises outstanding, fade-free stopping power.
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.
efficiency mode: The default setting is the “efficiency” mode. In this mode, the engine and transmission respond gently to use of the accelerator and shift paddles. 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. 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 power.
sport mode: 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.
Audi magnetic ride
The shock absorbers deploy a highly innovative technology in the form of Audi magnetic ride, which has already made its mark in the Audi R8 high-performance sports car and in the TT. Here, the conventional shock absorber fluid is replaced by a magneto-rheological fluid whose qualities can be controlled by means of an electromagnetic field. This effect enables the damping characteristic to be influenced electronically at will by applying a voltage to the electromagnets.
Audi magnetic ride capitalizes on this quality to make the appropriate damping forces available in any driving situation, thereby optimizing both ride comfort and performance dynamics. A computer linked up to a system of sensors interprets the current driving situation with split-second speed. Here, the driver can choose between two driving programs, depending on whether he wants to drive with a sportier style – with the magneto-rheological fluid requiring a low yield stress – or with a greater emphasis on ride comfort.
Powerful and elegant
The styling of the five-door 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 more masculine.
A coupe-like roof line
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
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.
Innovative LED technology
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.
A typical Audi
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).
Ergonomics and aesthetics
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, wrap-around section combines the doors and the sporty cockpit into one single unit. The dashboard and center console are designed entirely around the driver.
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.
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 design.
High-class look and feel
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.