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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]
Volkswagen confirmed today that an Audi S1 and a Jetta R are in the pipeline, but quashed rumors of an upcoming Polo R model. In an interview with drive.com.au, Dr. Ernst Linder, responsible for developing the Polo GTI, said that an Audi S1 would be offered with the familiar 1.4L twincharge unit and 7-speed DSG used in the Polo GTI. The S1 will also be front-drive, despite Audi’s legacy of using the quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Linder also denied that a Polo R would be coming, stating “From the technical point-of-view, of course we can do something, but from the financial point-of-view it makes not so much sense,” he said. “It would be too expensive and we have the S1. The S1 will have 136kW and it’s a very sporty car. If we put much more horsepower in the [Polo], we need something like four-wheel-drive. This is a technical feature that is very expensive.”
The Jetta R, on the other hand, was confirmed, but technical details are vague. Expect the familiar 2.0TFSI turbo engine, all-wheel drive and a DSG gearbox.
Despite an even better than expected reception in Europe, Audi still has no plans to bring its A1 subcompact model to North America. Initial production for Europe was scheduled to be 50,000 units, but Audi may look at upping that number thanks to overwhelming demand.
In Europe the “small premium” segment is catching on fast with the A1 designed to take on the current segment leader, the MINI Cooper.
No doubt Audi’s hesitance to bring the A1 to North America is due to its size (although it is slightly larger than a MINI Cooper) as well as brand perception. Audi is working hard in North America to establish itself as more than just a BMW and Mercedes follower. Instead, Audi wants to establish itself as a segment leader with significant focus on flagship models like the A8 and R8. A car like the A1 could potentially damage that image. After all, it’s not like BMW risked its own brand image in introducing the MINI lineup.
While we understand Audi’s predicament, we have to think an A1 with the 1.4-liter TFSI engine with 122-hp and 147 ft-lbs of torque mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic would make for an impressive ride.
At the annual “Wörthersee Tour” GTI meet in Austria, Audi is aiming to make an impression with VW owners by showcasing seven custom versions of its new A1 model. Along with six “tuner” models is an Amalfi White A1 featuring Audi’s new Competition Kits. The A1 “competition kit legends interior plus” model not only features the “competition kit Aerodynamic” with a complete aero kit and sport exhaust tips, but also includes an optional rear spoiler and “competition kit legends interior plus” with a rally-inspired exterior decal theme and interior trim items. Also available are the 18×7.5-inch wheels. In fact, customers can order their A1 exactly as shown above.
In addition to this model, the six custom A1s include an FC Bayern car, featuring the Number 10 of star player Arjen Robben. There’s also a Citrus Yellow “Follow Me” model designed after airport ground control vehicles, a Hot Rod model, a Fashion model and finally the “Wasserwacht” and “Pickerljäger” editions, named and designed after the local water rescue and toll sticker collectors in the region.
Be sure to browse through the extensive gallery below.
GALLERY: Custom Audi A1s at 2010 Wörthersee Tour GTI Meet
Official release after the jump:
Justin Timberlake as an IT specialist: worst idea ever? Audi apparently doesn’t feel the same way we do. We feel that nothing can come close to BMW’s The Hire series of Internet films, the other German luxury car maker seems to think that putting an ex-N’Sync member behind the wheel of an A1 to “save a life” will sell more cars. The series is called The Next Big Thing.
Here’s the synopsis, straight from Audi:
“Justin Timberlake is John Frank, a straight-laced IT specialist. He meets the mysterious Toni, played by Dania Ramirez. John can save her life. More is revealed in steps – that’s the idea. The tension builds until the finale – the final episode. There’s never a dull moment between episodes on the Internet, either. Interactive elements provide secrets, details and background about each episode: users get to know the characters, see the film from unusual perspectives, and flashbacks fill in the plot.”
Right. If you’re so inclined, you can view each episode here. And the reasoning behind the films?
“The timing for the film was not chosen at random, as you will be able to order the A1 soon,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi Board Member for Marketing and Sales. “The film is action-packed and entertaining, perfectly suited to the young target group of our A1. At the same time the movie provides kind of a virtual test drive: it shows skillful handling, technical refinement and presents the self-assured design of the A1.”
It could be worse: they could try and promote the car using an iPhone app. Oh. Wait. That totally happened. My bad.
See part 1 of 6 after the jump. And just a reminder, you can’t buy an A1 if you live in North America – because we’re not getting it.
Audi really went all out to promote its new A1 at the Geneva Auto Show. Newly-signed brand ambassador Justin Timberlake gave Audi’s press conference star power, drawing one of the largest crowds on media day.
Unfortunately the pop star’s appearance was a little underwhelming in this reporter’s opinion.
Lesson #1: If you’re going to have one of the biggest stars on the planet promoting your brand, don’t stick him in a hole in the wall and out of sight of at least a third of the crowd. Just take a look in the gallery below. JT’s on the big screen, but if you look a bit to the left and squint, you can just about make out his hand holding the microphone.
Lesson #2: If you’re going to have a band set up on stage and you’re bringing in a pop star like JT, people will want to see him sing. They don’t want to see him introduce an alternative rock band from Sweden. Nothing wrong with Torpedo’s performance; they acquitted themselves quite well in fact. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be asked to perform when I’m the second most popular musical act on the stage.
Thankfully, the A1 put in a better performance than its co-star. Audi’s new sub-compact has MINI firmly in its sights. The small car (155.5-inches in length, 97.2-inch wheelbase, 68.5-inches wider and 56-inches tall) comes with four engine options.
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.
But how does it perform? Let’s ask our man JT:
“It’s … fast. And, um … still an Audi.”
Lesson #3: Don’t let JT ad lib.
Gallery: Audi A1
Along with the launch of the new Audi A1 at the Geneva Auto Show, the automaker unveiled an E-Tron electric vehicle concept.
The A1 E-Tron is powered by a 102 hp electric motor with a range of 31.07 miles. A compact Wankel rotary engine kicks in when needed to recharge the lithium-ion battery, potentially extending the range to 124.27 miles.
According to Audi’s calculations, the fuel A1 E-Tron’s range extender gasoline engine has a fuel consumption of 123.8 mpg and produces 72.42 g/mile of CO2 gas.
Gallery: Audi A1 E-Tron Concept
As expected, Audi is unveiling a new A1 model to its e-Tron family of electric vehicles at the Geneva Auto Show.
The A1 e-Tron is powered by an electric motor with an internal combustion engine that is used only to recharge the motor’s battery. The motor has a continuous output of 61 hp but can peak at 102 hp in short bursts. The motor also provides 110.63 ft-lb. of continuous torque with a peak output of 177.01 ft-lb.
The T-shaped battery pack weighs less than 330.69 lb. and is rated at 380 volts. The battery provides enough power to travel 31.07 miles on a single charge, though that range can be extended by using the rotary engine.
We’ll have more including live photos when Audi officially reveals the A1 e-Tron.
Gallery: Audi A1 e-Tron
Official release after the jump:
With Audi having already provided all the details and pictures on its new A1 model that’s set to debut at the Geneva Auto Show this week, the German automaker seems to have a little surprise up its sleeve. And we do mean little.
Having shown the E-tron concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show and a very different version at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, rumors suggest Audi will display an A1-based E-Tron – something that certainly makes a lot of sense. After all, a small, premium electric city car isn’t much of a stretch for the European market.
There’s not word on power or recharge information, but we expect Audi to provide those details at the vehicle’s debut on Tuesday, March 2nd. It will most certainly be a concept, but look for an actual production model in the next few years.
Audi has just released info and photos on its new sub-compact premium model, the A1. Designed to rival the MINI Cooper, the A1 features Audi’s new trademark oversized grille, although from other angles it’s noticeably less cool.
Size-wise it is quite small at 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. No acceleration times are given, but we’re betting that with the 7-speed and a curb weight of just 2,303 lbs the A1 should be a fun little toy. Much of that weight savings has been gained by tossing the quattro system in favor of just front wheel drive.
In terms of functionality, 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.
Like the MINI lineup, Audi is hoping to capitalize on customers’ need to be different, offering plenty of customizable options like LED lighting, different colored roof frame panels and interior items as well as an MMI system with a touch screen and 10 speakers totaling 465-watts.
Set to launch at the Geneva Auto Show, the A1 will be offered in two trims (Attraction and Ambition), with S-Line accessories joining the lineup of options soonafter. Pricing will be around 16,000 Euros.
Audi has said the A1 will not be offered in the U.S., but with MINI’s tremendous success on this side of the Atlantic, surely its only time before Audi delivers the A1 here. Who knows, perhaps the first “1″ in North America will have an S attached to it?
GALLERY: 2011 Audi A1
Official release after the jump:
Audi’s upcoming A1 small car is set to arrive in Europe in 2010, but unlike the rest of the Audi lineup, the car won’t be offered with the German automaker’s impressive quattro all-wheel drive system. Instead the car will be front-drive only – even the high-performance S1 and RS1 (hypothetical at this point) will stay front-drive.
The decision does make sense, as the AWD setup is heavy, which automatically makes for a less fuel-efficient package. Fuel economy is also harmed by the necessity to use a larger engine or add more horsepower in order to have an AWD car keep up with front or rear drive competitors.
According to a report in German auto-pub AutoBild, the A1 will debut in coupe form at the Geneva Auto Show this coming march and go on sale in Europe later that year. An S1 model will follow, as well an A1 Sportback and A1 Cabrio.
Little is known about the car’s powerplant but the performance-oriented S1 is expected to be powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine with a 7-seed s-tronic tranmission. It will make 180-hp and be able to hit 62 mph in 6.9 seconds.
[Source: Autobild via GermanCarBlog]