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10.Honda Civic Hatchback
We might have some fancy cars over here in the USA, but there are quite a few vehicles overseas that we can’t help but think are desperately missing from our shores. More than a few are niche market models perfect for auto-enthusiasts, while others are more stylish or practical than what’s currently available in the US. And some are both.
America might not be blessed with the current-generation Audi A1 anytime soon, but Europeans may be getting a convertible variant with a retractable roof.
The A1 Convertible wouldn’t exactly be a full blown convertible, but a semi-convertible could be in the works sporting a retractable cloth top similar to what’s seen on the Fiat 500C. The German automaker has already tossed out the idea of a full convertible version due to high development costs.
The report comes courtesy of comments made by Audi head Rupert Stadler. The cloth top that could make its way onto the A1 body would cover about 80-percent of the roof, but unlike the 500C from Fiat, the roof wouldn’t incorporate the vehicle’s hatch section.
There’s no confirmation as to when this A1 variant would be available for purchase, but it’s believed that the model has already become an Audi road prototype, proving that it may have already received the nod for production.
The Audi A1 will have a rolling cloth top in 2013, though further details are limited.
According to a report by German Auto Motor Und Sport, the company decided to go with a rolling roof instead of a convertible to save cost. The setup will be similar to what we’ve already seen in the Fiat 500c, though probably without the dropping rear window which promotes the convertible feel.
Of course, the A1 is still just another German treat that North America gets to ogle but not touch. Don’t expect the tiny bundle of fun to make its way to our shores until the second generation, which is a long way off.
Audi also speculated that the new A9 luxury sedan could be offered with a new V12 engine.
[Source: World Car Fans via Auto Motor Und Sport]
Audi has dropped a nice surprise, releasing details and photos of a limited edition A1 quattro set to go on sale beginning in the second half of 2012. Only 333 units of the hot hatch will be produced and of course, North America will never even get close to sniffing it.
Essentially an S1 in everything but its model name, the Audi A1 quattro is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged TFSI powerplant with 256-hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Even more impressive is that Audi estimates the A1 quattro will get around 27-28 mpg. Mated to the 2.0L is a six-speed transmission and Audi’s famous all-wheel-drive system.
On the outside, unique Glacier White-finished wheels are seen in an 18×8-inch sizing wrapped with 225/35 rubber. And for those wondering, the A1 quattro will only be available with a Glacier White exterior paint shade while the roof is finished in a contrasting high-gloss black. Accents in the headlights and wings are done in red, a clearly race-inspired look.
We’re absolutely in love with the aggressive styling of the A1 quattro in the front and the rear, while the interior is covered in luxurious black Silk Nappa leather. The gauge cluster features white needles, a red tachometer and the quattro logo while the steering wheel is wrapped in leather with contrasting red stitching.
Trust us, we’re as bummed out as you guys are after reading the press release that the A1 quattro won’t be making its way to American soil.
GALLERY: Audi A1 Quattro
A unique Audi A1 got shown off at the Tokyo Motor Show today, garnering not only the attention of the media but also that of the locals. At first glance the Samurai Blue Audi A1 just looks like a car that can’t make up its mind as to what color it wants to be, but to the Japanese it sports the look of their national soccer team.
The A1 was built by Audi to show respect for the Japanese national soccer team and is a one-off model that will be sold and a part of its profit will be donated to charity. The Japan’s national soccer team is nicknamed Blue Samurai, with blue and white as the colors of the men and women’s soccer jerseys. (If you recall, the Japanese women’s team recently won the World Soccer Cup in Germany).
For the A1 Samurai Blue, Audi accented the blue and white with the red from the Japanese flag. It also features 18-inch wheels sporting an exclusive polygonal design that have also been painted red. We took a peek inside the A1 and saw that the black interior got contrast blue stitching while other pieces such as the air vent nozzles, inlays, center console and floor mats all got colorful blue accents.
It appears that the 1.4L TFSI engine remains untouched with 122-hp. Audi did mention that they’re planning on a limited edition A1, with its design based on the Samurai Blue, to go on sale in 2012.
In addition to this one-off model, Audi also officially unveiled the new 5-door A1 Sportback model in Tokyo.
GALLERY: Audi A1 Samurai Blue
GALLERY: Audi A1 Sportback
Even though this generation’s Audi A1 won’t be making it to North America, Audi has admitted that they’re considering launching the next-generation to us Americans. Nonetheless we have another variation to maybe look forward to, a five-door Sportback version of the Audi A1.
Priced at a little under $23,000 based on today’s conversion rates, the A1 Sportback will initially be offered with four different engine options, three TFSI gasolines and one TDI diesel engine with horsepower ranging from 86-hp to 185-hp. Most of the powerplants are mated to Audi’s standard six-speed manual or automatic but some can be paired up with a seven-speed S tronic with dual clutch.
The 1.2L TFSI packs 86-hp while the 1.4L TFSI has 122-hp and the top-of-the-line 1.4L twin-charged TFSI sports 185-hp. The first diesel offering will be a 1.6L TDI with 105-hp, but will later be joined by a 2.0L TDI with 143-hp. The supercharged and turbocharged 1.4L can be paired with Audi’s seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox helping it hit 62-mph in just 7-seconds.
Despite looking similar to the three-door A1, the Sportback is actually 0.24-inch taller and wider, offering slightly more head room and shoulder room for its five passengers.
Ordering for the A1 Sportback in the UK will start at the end of this month with deliveries coming by next spring.
GALLERY: Audi A1 Sportback
Out at the annual Nardo Highspeed Test, many machines like 9FF’s Porsche 911 GT3 or G-Power’s BMW M3 came to show off their top speed. German VW/Audi tuner MTM was also on hand, with a shockingly fast car. No, it wasn’t an RS5 or some other brutish monter, but the cute and trendy Audi A1. Motivated by a 500-hp engine the little rocket hit an incredible top speed of 201-mph.
Available to consumers as the A1 Nardo Edition, the car also comes with an aesthetics package, spicing up the A1′s already good looks with a set of 18-inch MTM bimoto wheels, upgraded brakes and lowered suspension.
GALLERY: MTM Audi A1 Nardo Edition
Discuss this story at AudiA1Forum.com
Rotaries may seem like a thing of the past these days, especially with Mazda preparing to retire the RX-8. But the Wankel-powered sports car won’t be the last Mazda to get the odd powerplant, thanks in part to a recent breakthrough.
A recently big step forward for Mazda’s engineers is a newly developed laser ignition system that can remove spark plugs from the equation. This has made sealing the Wankel’s combustion chamber easier, resulting in better efficiency and, more importantly, lower hydrocarbon emissions.
This breakthrough could prove to be the catalyst Mazda needs to rejuvenate the RX-7 model, but it all comes down to finding the proper funding.
That influx of cash could come from a partnership with Audi. The two automakers are reportedly in talks and Audi’s A1 e-tron concept did use a 254cc Wankel range-extender underneath the trunk floor. The light weight, smooth and quiet rotary technology could prove the perfect pairing for a future production hybrid drivetrain for Audi.
[Source: Inside Line]
Each spring, a jury of 66 automotive journalists from around the globe get together to pick a winner for the World Car of the Year title. The journalists are asked to vote by secret ballot, selecting the winner from 10 cars that have made the final cut.
For the 2011 awards, those finalists have now been announced. They are: Audi A1, Audi A8, BMW 5-Series, BMW X3, Jaguar XJ, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (shown above), Nissan LEAF, Porsche Cayenne and Volvo S60/V60.
And yes, the much hyped Chevrolet Volt didn’t make the cut this time around, perhaps next year when it becomes more widely available.
Now that the finalists for this year’s awards have been announced, the jurors will ‘re-evaluate’ each vehicle on merit, value, safety, emotional appeal, significance and environmental impact. Once the findings of these evaluations have been tabulated, the shortlist will be whittled down to three vehicles, which will be announced at the Geneva Auto Show next month. The actual World Car of Year winner, will be announced at the New York International Auto Show on April 21st; the final ballots being tabulated by international accounting firm KPMG.
The World Car Awards were first instigated in 2003 to reflect a more global automotive landscape and complement existing national and regional Car of the Year award programs.
Past WCOTY winners have generally been cars that have proved popular in many countries around the world. The first car to actually win the accolade, back in 2005, was the Audi A6, while past winners have included other top selling cars such as the BMW 3-Series; Mazda 2 and Volkswagen Golf.
We’ve seen some really clever stuff coming out of online video production these days, but Audi-tuner ABT Sportsline may have just taken the prize for innovative design and viral marketing.
For those that remember the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, the concept is similar – just in an interactive and virtual environment. Essentially ABT Sportsline did a series of YouTube videos with each one offering a decision that seamlessly links you to the next video. The result? You get to control good ‘ol Carolin Winter as she makes a decision on which personalized Audi A1 to purchase.
There are three results that ABT is showcasing through these videos, the Klecks, Aloha and High Voltage. Through a series of step-by-step decisions ranging from speaking to the receptionist or sneaking past her (cleverly using an ABT AS5 for discrete cover), to enjoying an espresso or venturing forward to the three modified Audi A1s from ABT Sportsline.
We thought it was a pretty clever way to market their modified Audi A1s to the masses, and if anything, it’s pretty entertaining to control the fate of a young female. Get your mind out of the gutter please.
Check out the video after the jump:
Volkswagen is apparently engineering their small car PQ25 platform to accept all-wheel-drive. The adaptation would allow for a new range of sporty hot hatches, among them the Audi A1 and Volkswagen Polo R.
The all-wheel-drive modification would also allow for quasi SUV versions of the small hatch platform, such as a VW CrossPolo or even an Audi Q1. Audi decided to abandon the S1 moniker for the A1 1.4TFSI after realizing that the car would only be sold as a front-drive vehicle.
In the long line of hot hatchbacks we wont get comes another enticing product, the Audi A1 1.4TFSI. Based on the more accesible Volkswgaen Polo GTI, the A1 gets the same 1.4TFSI twincharged engine and DSG gearbox, in a much more upscale package.
An S-Line bodykit and bigger wheels help set it apart from lesser A1s, and the car’s estimated $31,000 puts it in the rareified world of more expensive sports cars, making it unlikely that we’ll ever see it on our shores. But boy, does it ever look good.
Gallery: Audi A1 1.4TFSI
The Audi A1 1.4TFSI has stolen our hearts and left us wanting more, specifically a hotter version under the S1 label. If you’re like us, we have some bittersweet news for you.
Audi has announced that there will be no S1 for the time being, but that the A1 1.4TFSI was going to be the S1 right up until the last second. But Audi had reservations about calling it the S1 when it had no quattro all-wheel-drive system, necessitating the name change. Regardless of the name, the 1.4L twin-charged engine and 7-speed dual clutch gearbox are enough to make us salivate, and apply for EU citizenship. Look for the A1 1.4 TFSI to debut at this month’s Paris Auto Show.
Audi‘s long-rumored S1 hot hatch will not be coming to Paris. Instead, Audi has elected to take the guts of what likely would have been an S1, and package it in a more discrete wrapper, creating the Audi A1 1.4TFSI in its place.
The A1 1.4TFSI still looks aggressive, with beefier wheels and stark white paint, but the mechanical bits are the same as the Volkswagen Polo GTI. The A1 actually gets a bit more power, putting down 185 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, with power getting to the ground via a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. An S-Line bodykit and bigger wheels help set it apart from lesser A1s, while straying from the Polo GTI’s boy-racer image.
If imported here, the A1 would cost about $31,000, far too much for a small car to retail for in North America. In the mean time, we can dream, and we will try to get as close to it as humanly possible when we cover its debut at the 2010 Paris Auto Show.
Audi‘s S1 hot hatch will make its debut at the Paris Auto Show, but forget about being able to buy it stateside. As we previously reported, the A1 range will not be coming here until 2014, when the car is due for a re-design.
The S1 is expected to borrow heavily from its platform-mates the VW Polo GTI and SEAT Ibiza FR. While there are rumors that the 2.0TFSI motor may be shoehorned in to the S1′s tiny engine bay, the most likely powerplant will be the 1.4L TFSI, which makes 170 horsepower from its twincharged four-banger. With a 7-speed DSG and a low curb weight, the S1 should be a competent performer, and have the Audi cachet that its lesser siblings don’t have. The auto industry’s new-found focus on efficiency and small cars should also make the S1 a hit among people more concerned with style than performance.
[Source: Car and Driver]
Oh Audi A1, where art thou? While we Americans sit around and wait for the second generation A1 to launch, the fortunate ones in Europe are already getting their hands quite dirty with the MINI competitor. Senner Tuning has been fast out of the gate with their version and we’re just fuming with jealousy that we can’t get our hands on one ourselves.
The 1.6-liter TDI engine produces a pedestrian 104-hp and 184 ft-lbs of torque from the factory, but with Senner Tuning’s ECU retune one can expect 138-hp and 220 ft-lbs of torque. It may not seem like much, but we’re guessing in this tiny little 3-door package it packs quite the punch. The ECU retune is available for $1,140.
For their demo car, Senner Tuning opted for a set of KW coilovers to lower the vehicle while bolting on a set of 18×8-inch Barracuda Voltec T6 wheels with 225/35/18 Hankook S1 Evo tires. Senner Tuning states that the wheel and tire package starts at around $2,025 depending on what sort of rubber you want on the wheels. Lastly, an exhaust system is available for the same price as the ECU retune, $1,140. No power gains are disclosed from the exhaust, but we’re guessing it a few horses.
It looks as if Senner Tuning is prepared to sell completely built Audi A1s to the market much like their demo car. From what we can gather, you can get an A1 identical to the one seen in the photos for around $34,400. Probably a little spendy for a vehicle that’s supposed to be a MINI competitor, but you are getting some goods with it.
GALLERY: Senner Tuning Audi A1
Official press release available after the break.
Audi‘s diminutive A1 compact hatchback is proving to be such a hot product that the company has decided to sell the car “at short notice” in markets such as Asia.
While Audi wants to focus on European markets first, the car will eventually be sold in Asia, with Audi deciding on a strategy for the Chinese market. “Many of the Asian markets are now showing a trend toward smaller vehicles,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi’s head of sales. “For that reason, it’s right to sell the A1 also in those regions.”
Audi plans to produce around 100,000 A1s per year, with the vehicle being targeted at younger, professional types. A starting price of under $20,000 will help lure customers away from more mainstream brands.
Unfortunately, the earliest the A1 will arrive in North America will be in the car’s next generation, something that will take an absolute minimum of 4 years.
Audi is reportedly hard at work with their new Q1 crossover, to compete with the BMW X1. With a higher ground clearance, as well as a more muscular appearance and a possible 5-door layout.
Quattro all-wheel drive will be standard, unlike the front-drive A1, while the engines offered will be the 1.4TFSI and a 2.0TDI. At this point, much of the talk surrounding the Q1 is speculation, but considering the VW Group’s ambitious target of being the #1 automaker in the world by 2018, BMW’s upcoming X1 small crossover and America’s love of premium vehicles, the Q1 is likely a safe bet for production.
[Source: Zero Customs]
BMW is well known for its long history with art cars, but Audi’s A1 art car seems to be mounting a serious challenge. Designed by Damien Hirst (famous for putting a dead shark in a tank of formaldehyde and selling it for millions), the A1 features a special “spin paint” treatment by Hirst. Although the price is steep, all the proceeds will go to benefit the Elton John AIDS foundation.
The A1 is expected to be released later this year, with prices starting well below $525,000.
Get more Audi A1 news and info at AudiA1Forum.com
Audi execs have repeatedly said that the A1 mini-car will not be sold in the U.S. But now Audi boss Rupert Stadler has confirmed that it will be sold here, but not any time soon. According to a report by Car & Driver, Audi is planning to sell its second-generation of the MINI competitor in North America.
The wait will be a long one too, with the A1 just having launched in Europe with a long production cycle, that won’t see the next car for seven more years.
The current A1 is just 155.5-inches in length (with a 97.2-inch wheelbase), 68.5-inches wider and 56-inches tall. Under the hood there are four engine choices. Diesel options include two 1.6-liter versions with either 90-hp and 169 ft-lbs of torque or 105-hp and 184 ft-lbs of torque. Gasoline models get either a tiny 1.2-liter TFSI 4-cylinder with 86-hp and 118 ft-lbs of torque or a 1.4-liter TFSI with 122-hp and 147 ft-lbs of torque. Five and six-speed manual transmissions come standard, while a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is available. Audi rates both gas engines at 46 mpg in the European test cycle, while this tiny car delivers 9.43 cubic-feet of cargo room, which increases to a total of 32.5 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded flat.
GALLERY: Audi A1 Debut in Geneva
[Source: Car & Driver]
Audi is certain to develop a high-performance version of its new A1 model in a bid to compete with the JCW-tuned MINI Cooper. So with production all but confirmed, the only questions remaining are: what engine will it have and will it be AWD?
In an interview with the folks at PistonHeads during the European A1 launch, the car’s product boss, Lars Adler, admitted that engines currently in use in the A3 could be made to fit under the hood of the A1. He also acknowledged that the A3′s AWD system could be adapted to the A1 – but not as easily.
There are serious doubts that a high-powered S1 or RS1 would use AWD, due to the added weight and the fact that none of the competing vehicles use it. As for the engines, a 200ish horsepower 2.0T engine would certainly make the A1 a blast to drive. Currently the most potent engine offered is a 1.4 TSI with 121-hp and 147 ft-lbs of torque. Another strong possibility for the A1 is the new Polo GTIs engine, a 1.4-liter TSI Twincharger (supercharged and turbocharged) which makes 178-hp.
A stunt driving demo went all wrong for Audi, as professional drivers ended up rolling one of their new A1 subcompact hatches during a demonstration in Brussels.
Drivers piloted the A1 up and down a specially-constructed half pipe in the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels, as a means of promoting the new model. Rather than wowing the crowd with its driving prowess, the Audi rolled onto its roof, in a massive PR embarassment for Audi.
Both driver and passenger walked away unscathed, and the car was eventually push back onto the tires, but Audi PR staff were especially vigilant about no pictures being taken of the incident. If only it were Justin Timberlake in the car.
[Source: Auto Express]