Audi is quite proud of the fact that since its local introduction in
2011 they’ve shifted nearly 9000 A1 models. They say the A1 outsells the
closest premium rival by 3 to 1. Which is impressive.
‘premium rival’ I presume they mean the MINI Cooper, but if we look at
the official NAAMSA sales figures for May, Audi sold 168 A1s while MINI
moved 158 Coopers. Not quite 3 to 1 Audi? More ‘neck and neck’.
besides the sales numbers, what is of more interest is that the A1
conquests more customers than any other Audi. This makes sense, as the
baby Audi in the range the A1 should appeal to a younger audience.
young, well my gut tells me that unless you have large trust fund,
parent’s with deep pockets or you’re part of the ‘upwardly mobile
generation’, at a base price of R265 000 for the 1.0T 3-door, as a set
of your self-funded first wheels, it’s probably out of reach for most.
So is this a new, new model we see here?
model you see here sits in the middle of the range and is the 1.4-litre
TFSi SE S-Tronic Sportback model and has a base price of R323 500.00.
That might sound like a lot, and it is. But, consider the
top-of-the-range S1 starts at an eye-watering R452 000.00 and the model
you see here seems cheap by comparison.
So what’s new on the A1?
Well visually not all that much, there’s a new front bumper, grille and
headlight arrangement however, if you can spot the differences without
the previous generation model sitting right next to it, well done you,
because I can’t.
It’s still in my opinion, one of the best looking
models in the Audi range, together with the A3 sedan of course (queue
heated discussion) and with the optional Audi Active Kit, the new A1 is
sexier than ever. Active Kit includes ‘platinum grey’ front and rear
bumper aprons, as well as wheel arch covers, side sills and wing mirrors
in the same grey chrome-look plastic.
Customisation is the name
of the game in this boutique hatch market. With the option to have a
contrasting roof colour, a variety of wheel designs and the
aforementioned Active Kit, you can spec your A1 just how you want it.
of specification, the test unit I drove for example, had R80 000 worth
of optional extras, taking its base price from R323 500.00 to a
staggering on the road price of R404 490!