Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport Review

By: Peter McKay

Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport
Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport
Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport

Road Test: Audi A1. Your hot hatch choices have never been better

Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport Review
Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport


Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport

Aussies hankering after cute and lively baby hot-hatches from Europe are spoilt right now - Renaultsport Clio 200, VW Polo GTI, Citroën DS3, Alfa Mito QV, Abarth 500 Esseesse…

And now, with a refined crackle from its dual exhaust pipes comes the new Audi A1 Sport, the so-called 'premium' pocket rocket mixing perky performance with luxury-brand quality and upmarket gear.

The 136kW/250Nm A1 Sport is gunning not so much at the aforementioned, but the Mini Cooper S, though at $42,500 plus on-roads (and options), the A1 Sport may end up on shopping lists alongside bigger, more powerful hatches from Japan.

So why buy an A1 Sport when you can get a Polo GTI (which shares many key components) for a $14K saving? Both the GTI and Audi A1 Sport run a 1.4-litre twin-charged engine - the supercharger operating at idle for instant off-the-line response, then the turbo chimes in when the revs build. Importantly, the Audi engine produces an extra 4kW over its stablemate.

They also share a standard seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission with automated manual function (there is no real manual available), along with smart cabin furnishings and equipment levels usually reserved for its larger, pricier siblings.

Six airbags, stability control, and five-star crash worthiness tick the safety boxes. Then there are sports seats, an electronic limited-slip diff, rear-park assist, climate control, cruise, hill holder, rain sensing wipers, colour in-dash screen, and excellent xenon LED headlights. Options include MMI Navi-Plus, Bluetooth (tisk, tisk), and loads of tempting 'enhancements'.

This really is a car that meets your moods. If you want to challenge the official economy figures of 5.9L/100km, an excellent trip computer keeps you au fait with progress. But if you feel inclined to go a little quicker, the 1190kg A1 Sport is good for a claimed 6.9secs from 0-100km/h.

We got acquainted with the baby Audi on a challenging temporary 'racetrack' marked out at Moorabin airport. Using the 'box either in D or via the optional steering-wheel paddles, the S-tronic slips through the gears smoothly and efficiently.

Mid-range response is extremely healthy - peak torque of 250Nm kicks in at 2000rpm and doesn't wane until 4500.

There is a touch of body roll, but the Sport changes direction with all the agility the badge suggests, though damping is softer than its Mini rival's. On optional 18s, the Sport has slightly sharper turn-in, but the standard 17s (with more compliant rubber) would be our choice. The brakes don't scream 'circuit work' but in the light A1, they handle any reasonable punishment.

Overall, the A1 Sport is a tiddler that presents as classy and clever.





ENGINE: 1390cc 4cyl, DOHC, 16v,
supercharger, turbocharger

POWER: 136kW @ 6200rpm

TORQUE: 250Nm @ 2000-4500rpm

WEIGHT: 1190kg

GEARBOX: 7-speed dual-clutch

0-100km/h: 6.9sec (claimed)

TOP SPEED: 227km/h (claimed)

PRICE: $42,500


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