Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI S tronic (185 bhp) S line Review
New dimension

Story and Photos by Joe Yeo
14 Jun 2012

Audi widens the appeal of the A1 further by introducing the new five-door Sportback model.

Introduction, styling

Before the introduction of the Audi A1, BMW’s Mini had the premium compact hatchback segment practically on its own. Since its launch, the A1 has been a thorn in the Mini’s side thanks to its fresh and stylish looks, superbly executed interior and unparalleled refinement among other attributes. Suffice to say, the A1 has so far been a resounding success for the Four Rings.

Audi though, is not resting on its laurels with the A1. To widen the appeal of its smallest model further, Audi has added a more versatile and more practical five-door version of the A1 in the form of the A1 Sportback. The new body variant was recently launched in Singapore and we’ve driven it in top spec 185bhp S line guise here.

 First unveiled as a concept at the 2008 Paris Motorshow, the A1 Sportback shares its overall footprint and styling very much with the three-door model but with some key differences – the five-door model is somehow 6mm taller and wider than the three-door model, which Audi claims liberates marginally more head and shoulder room than in the three-door model.

The Sportback is also easily distinguished from its three-door sibling on the outside by the quarter glass on the C-pillars as well as the optional contrasting paint finish for the roof and tailgate spoiler. The three-door doesn’t offer this contrasting roof option but it can be specified with its roof arches in a contrasting shade of aluminium. Other than the contrasting roof, the Sportback is also offered with other customizable options like exterior graphics as well as matching interior trim and inserts.

The Sportback looks at least every bit as well proportioned and purposeful as the three-door model despite its two extra doors. Personally, I find that the Sportback’s proportions are even more handsome than the three-door model’s. The Sportback that we tested looks even better than a base 122bhp model thanks to its standard, tasteful S line aero kit and the optional 18-inch alloy wheels that fill the A1’s wheel arches superbly. 

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Engine Capacity 1390cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10:1
Power 185bhp @ 6200rpm
Torque 250Nm @ 1500rpm
Power to Weight 152.3 bhp per ton


Acceleration 7s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 227 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 16.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF


Body Type 5 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(3954 x 1746 x 1416) mm
Wheelbase 2469 mm
Turning Circle 10.7 metres
Kerb Weight 1215 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 45 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs