Audi A1 Sportback (2018): meet the posher Polo

  • First details of next A1 Sportback
  • No three-door this time around
  • Find out what we know so far

The new Audi A1 has arrived – the next vehicle based on the same VW Group small-car platform as the VW Polo and SEAT’s Ibiza and Arona. Order books open in July 2018 with deliveries beginning November 2018.

This time around it’s going to be five-door-only, with no three-door version to supplement the five-door Sportback. Since it uses the new platform, we’re expecting a longer wheelbase – the distance between front and rear wheels - than the outgoing A1, making for more interior space.

Audi A1 2018 cabin

The whole car is 56mm longer, 35mm wider and 13mm lower than the outgoing A1.

Its looks are more of the Q2 SUV than Audis with a more conventional design, with contrasting colours inside and out to make the lines a little more interesting.

What equipment will the 2018 Audi A1 Sportback have?

You can also expect a smarter cabin design than the VW and SEAT offerings, likely featuring Audi’s latest touchscreen MMI multimedia systems with natural voice control.

Driver assistance technology will feature too, so expect active lane-departure, cruise control and autonomous emergency braking along with the usual swathe of airbags. It'll also get advanced headlights - something Audi's well known for.

Audi A1 Sportback in grey

Audi will need a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating if it wants the younger drivers who typically buy these cars to be able to insure them for a reasonable cost.

We’re not expecting a break from tradition in terms of trim levels either, meaning the following 2018 Audi A1 Sportback models will be available:

  • Audi A1 SE
  • Audi A1 Sport
  • Audi A1 S Line

An Audi A1 Black Edition is likely to join the range at a later date.

What engines will be in the 2018 Audi A1 Sportback?

We’re expecting a range of three- and four-cylinder TFSI petrol engines of varying sizes, and manual and S Tronic automatic gearboxes. What’s less clear at this point is whether a diesel model will appear. A hybrid is a strong possibility, but probably not for a time after the initial launch.

Will there be another Audi S1 Sportback?

We don’t know for certain yet, but we’re pretty confident Audi will release a hot version of the A1 Sportback. After all, we’ve already driven the VW Polo GTI, so the parts are available to build such a car.

We’re expecting the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol motor as the VW, but it’s almost certain to have more than the Polo’s 200hp (it had 230hp last time around), and of course Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system.

What about an Audi RS1 Sportback?

What’s less certain is an RS1 – Audi didn’t see fit to do this on the outgoing A1 line-up but industry insiders have suggested this is indeed the case.

Given the uplift in performance of other RS models compared with the standard model ranges, it would need at least 300hp, which is a fantastic amount of power for a car the size of a Ford Fiesta. More than anything else currently available in that sector, in fact…

When can I buy the 2018 Audi A1 Sportback?

We’re expecting the first launch activity to begin towards the end of 2018, with deliveries starting in November.

Keep an eye out for more information when specifications and pricing are announced over the coming months.

Audi A1 Sportback 2018 rear three quarter

Parkers will be among the first to drive this new car, so watch out for the full 2018 Audi A1 Sportback review coming soon