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Rugged A1 Citycarver aims to rival Ford Fiesta Active

Audi A1 Citycarver (19 on)
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PROS

  • Underlying car is strong
  • SUV styling bound to appeal
  • Good pair of engines should ensure decent performance and low running costs

CONS

  • Likely to be pricey
  • Little added off-road ability

PROS

  • Underlying car is strong
  • SUV styling bound to appeal
  • Good pair of engines should ensure decent performance and low running costs

CONS

  • Likely to be pricey
  • Little added off-road ability

Audi has unveiled a new model in its A1 range. The A1 Citycarver aims to bring a little crossover flavour to the brand’s smallest car, with a raised ride height and unique styling including plenty of black plastic cladding.

The Citycarver is based on the standard A1 Sportback, and as the name might suggest is pitched more as an urban runabout than as a fully-fledged off-roader in the same vein as the firm’s Allroad models such as the A4

To that end, the A1 Citycarver won’t be fitted with Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system, remaining front-wheel drive only.

Audi A1 Citycarver 2019 front dynamic

The Citycarver's main rival is likely to be the Ford Fiesta Active, though it could also potentially steal a few sales from compact premium SUVs such as the BMW X2 or Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Rugged exterior upgrades

Styling updates over the standard A1 Sportback give the Citycarver some more road presence than its sibling. There’s a new front bumper and front splitter, redesigned side skirts and underbody protection front and rear.

Audi’s also fitted an octagonal radiator grille – a subtle upgrade over the standard car’s hexagonal one – and clad the wheelarches in black plastic. This has a practical application in protecting the car’s extremities from minor dings and dents, but is mostly added for style.

Audi A1 Citycarver 2019 front grille

The Citycarver rides about four centimetres higher than the standard A1. It sits on 17-inch alloy wheels as standard, but buyers can specify rims of up to 18 inches.

Choice of two petrol powertrains

Powertrains on offer are both petrol, and consist of the 30 TFSI or 35 TFSI units. Outside of Audi’s confusing nomenclature, this translates to a 1.0-litre three-cylinder with 95hp or a 1.5-litre four-cylinder with 150hp. Both can be mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Audi A1 Citycarver 2019 interior

As with the standard A1, the Citycarver can be heavily personalised, with a choice of nine exterior colours and two contrasting roof shades. Inside, there’s an 8.8-inch infotainment display plus 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, though the former can be upgraded to a 10.1-inch unit with the optional Technology Pack.

Further high-end equipment includes all-round LED lights, selectable driving modes and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection.

Practicality unchanged

As the Citycarver is based on the A1 Sportback, it retains that car's practical five-door body and 335-litre boot. While that's not class-leading, it's nonetheless impressive and significantly larger than the Ford Fiesta Active's 292-litres of space.

Audi A1 Citycarver 2019 rear dynamic

Fuel economy and emissions are unlikely to suffer very much from the conversion - the larger standard alloy wheels and the increased ride height could see minor losses of efficiency but broadly we can expect the Citycarver to be a cheap car to run.

Order books open in the UK in September. Prices have not yet been announced. Check back on this page for the full review coming soon.

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