An Audi A1 raised and made up in a fighter
No quattro transmission
No diesel, electric or hybrid
Starting at € 25,760
After the failure of the A2, Audi took time to return to the category of city cars. It was in 2010 with the A1, taking over the base of the Polo and wearing a finish worthy of the brand rings. Renewed in 2018, the A1 recovers the VW Group's MQB platform, which it dresses with a body that plays the card of sparkling dynamism, a real change from the seriousness with which Ingolstadt had accustomed us. And now that Audi pushes the nail with the Citycarver, a raised A1 and made up in fighter to please a young and urban clientele. It fits exactly between the A1 Sportback and the small SUV Q2, which it takes some aesthetic codes as the octagonal grille. Does this kind of T-Cross badged Audi have a true urban interest?
Very popular but accused of all evils, the SUV is not currently in the odor of sanctity, especially in the city. However, the demand for elevated vehicles remains important: the Sandero sells 70% Stepway fighter version.
Audi is not aiming so high with the Citycarver, which is expected to account for 15% of A1's sales, but this relatively modest target is expected to grow if SUV-bashing mode begins to impact Q2 sales, prompting customers to fall back on the Citycarver.
It could be likened to an Allroad declination of the A1, but, and this is not a detail, it does without the quattro all-wheel drive. Simple traction, it gains that said 40 mm of ground clearance, 35 mm with specific springs and dampers, and 5 mm thanks to the higher sidewall tires, the rims having a minimum diameter of 16 inches.
Aesthetically, in addition to the octagonal grille already mentioned, it is distinguished from the Sportback by its sills and its plastic wheel arches, expanding the car by 16 mm (total 1,756 mm). Let's not forget its redesigned shields, which increase the length of 17 mm (total 4,040 mm).
The result is a very slightly changed and energized look, but which goes unnoticed: thanks to this, we will not be the target of any radicalized ecologist. The very attractive orange tint of the bodywork combined with matte black rims is specific to our edition One version, the only one available during this test and which will not be offered in France …
A seductive cabin, but …
The interior does not evolve, which is surprising: we would have appreciated a specific decoration, by the yardstick of the bodywork. We therefore find the environment of the A1 Sportback, its good habitability, its very suitable trunk of 335 l, extensible to 1 090 l.
In addition, the driving position is ideal, thanks to the seat and steering wheel settings (height and depth), but also to the higher seat due to the raised ground clearance: we have a better point of view on the road .
Only, when we know the old A1, we can only be disappointed by the finish of the new. If the top of the dashboard is foamed, the rest is clipped in hard plastics and sounding hollow, which is quite out of place in a premium city car. Especially since the competition "mainstream" is progressing rapidly, starting with the new Clio.
In fact, it seems that Audi is enjoying a more charismatic design to make savings in manufacturing on the sly, a method that has been proven to increase the profit margin. To a certain extent … Fortunately, the assembly here does not lend itself to criticism.
One engine for now
The A1 Citycarver exists at the time of its launch only 30 TFSI. Which corresponds, as its name does not indicate, to a 3-cylinder of 999 cc with a turbo. This group produces 116 hp, available from 5,000 rpm, for interesting torque of 200 Nm, intervening between 2,000 and 3,500 rpm. However, as the Citycarver weighs 35 kg more than an equivalent A1 Sportback, or 1,140 kg minimum, it loses a little performance. The 0 to 100 km / h is now in 9.9 s (+ 0.4 s), the maximum speed drops from 203 to 198 km / h, which would be more to put on the account of a degraded aerodynamics the Cx from 0.31 to 0.34.
This last point should also contribute to the rise in mixed consumption, which climbs by 0.3 l / 100 km, to 5.2 l / 100 km, or 5.4 l / 100 km if opted for the 18-inch wheels, which is equipped with our test model. Note that it takes advantage of the box S tronic seven reports, which will be available in France in a few weeks. If it weighs 30 kg on the car, it slightly reduces its average fuel consumption, officially ranging from 5.1 to 5.2 l / 100 km. This induces CO2 emissions ranging from 117 to 119 g / km (penalty of 35 or 45 €), against 118 to 122 g / km for the manual version (penalty of 40 or 60 €). Attention, on January 1st, these sums will vary from 210 to 310 €. Note that the consumptions are announced in WLTP standard and not in correlated NEDC. At the end of November, a 25 TFSI of 95 hp and a 35 TFSI of 150 hp are planned. But no diesel, no hybrid, no electric.