The latest Audi A1 will be turned into a crossover derivative for the new range, but its name is something of a surprise - this is the A1 Citycarver.
Urbanite, not country set
Audi normally calls its crossovers 'allroad' but, for the A1, it has gone with the new nameplate. This is almost a tacit admission from Audi that the Citycarver is not designed for any sort of serious off-roading: a belief enhanced by the statement that the 'most progressive' model in the A1's product line is 'at home in any environment - in the city, on country roads and highways, and even on slightly rough terrain.'
It therefore follows the usual tropes of these sorts of machines, with an additional 40mm of ground clearance over a regular A1 - this is because the suspension alone contributes a 35mm jack-up of the Audi hatch, with the rest coming courtesy of bigger-as-standard 16-inch and up alloy wheels. It's also marginally longer, by around 10mm, thanks to various body addenda. Visually, the exterior of the A1 Citycarver has a robust, off-road look, according to Audi, with details like a large, octagonal Singleframe grille being reminiscent of the company's Q-range of SUVs, the addition of stainless steel underbody protection, side sills and wheel arch covers in black plastic, a redesigned rear bumper, and - finally - just two slots above the front grille, rather than the three of the A1 Sportback.
Audi will offer nine exterior colours for the A1 Citycarver, with the choice of either a Mythos Black metallic or Manhattan Grey metallic roof, with a stainless steel paint finish (in Deep Black) also an option. Inside, the vents, centre tunnel and doors are highlighted with accents in either Mint, Copper, Orange or Silver-Grey, while a choice of trim levels should be available for the Citycarver, just as they are for regular Sportback versions of the A1. A fully digital instrument cluster comes as standard, with Audi Virtual Cockpit and MMI Navigation Plus available as cost upgrades.
Engines not yet confirmed
No loss of boot space is evident from the transition to Citycarver spec, this high-riding A1 packing the same 335-litre cargo bay as its regular brethren. Full LED headlights with dynamic turn signals will be on the options, list, while there will be an array of driver assist active safety systems offered. As yet, no word on motive power is forthcoming from Audi, so we'd expect it to use some of the brawnier motors from the regular A1 range, such as the 35 and 40 TFSI examples of the 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines respectively. Whether the 30 TFSI three-cylinder 1.0-litre motor is deemed enough for the Citycarver remains to be seen.
Audi also will only say the suspension of the Citcycarver is 'harmonious and precise', although an optional Dynamic Package for the A1 crossover include brake discs gripped by red callipers, the Audi Drive Select handling modes, a sound actuator and suspension with adjustable dampers. Wheels up to 18 inches in diameter can be teamed with this kit.
Goes on sale in autumn
The Audi A1 Citycarver's order books will open in August, with the first cars arriving at European dealerships later in the year. From launch, a fully equipped Edition One will be available for a limited time, finished in either Arrow Grey or Pulse Orange with 18-inch wheels, plus exterior detailing in black. S line equipment will be fitted and interior details will be orange or silver.