Do you think the world is ready for a premium subcompact car with excellent fuel efficiency? Audi certainly does. That’s why the Ingolstadt company has developed the A1 Sportback, a concept plug-in hybrid model just unveiled at the Paris motor show. At 157 inches long, the 4-door 4-seat A1 is about a five inches shorter than a Honda Fit, to give you an idea of its size.
Yes, that’s small. And yes, the car is related to the 3-door Audi A1 design study from 2007. But the new 5-door A1 Sportback has a higher body with tauter lines that give it a much more muscular look. The boxy shape translates to loads of interior space, with a sporty dashboard wrapping around to blend attractively into the door panels. The seats, of note, are covered in a clear mesh-like fabric that accentuates the airiness of the interior.
Adding to the A1 Sportback’s appeal is an advanced infotainment system that allows a driver to use a commercially available mobile phone as the car’s phone, address book, nav system and audio player. It can also be used to control several of the car’s numerous vehicle systems. All it takes is some additional software that’s downloadable from Audi. The A1 Sportback driver, for example, can now plot a driving route in the comfort of his home, long before he or she even needs to get in the car. On the mechanical side of things, Audi’s drive select system allows the driver to pick specially adapted configurations for the drivetrain, twin-clutch transmission and magnetic-ride shock absorbers.
Most important, the A1 Sportback has a super-efficient hybrid powertain, in which a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is aided by a 20-kw (27-hp) electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission. As a plug-in full hybrid capable of running at times purely on power provided by the lithium-ion batteries, this compact Audi is 30 percent more efficient than an A1 powered solely by the gasoline engine.
According to Audi, that means the A1 Sportback gets 60.31 mph in mixed-mode driving. Let’s hope this compact Audi hybrid — or something very like it — makes its way to the U.S. soon.
from yahoo news