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Audi reveals A1 Sportback

  • Popular Audi hatchback gets more practical
  • Five-door better prospect for company car drivers
  • Diesel option offers low monthly tax rates

Audi has made the A1 a more practical proposition for company car drivers with the introduction of a new five-door Sportback model.

Set to go on sale early next year, the five-door variant is slightly wider and longer than the three-door version. This means there is a bit of extra room for rear passengers. Boot space, however, remains the same at 270 litres.

The extra space also means that this model comes with five seats as standard making it a more usable prospect, although you can specify a four-seater at no extra cost.

On the engine front things are fairly similar to that of the existing three-door version. There are three choices in the petrol engine line-up: a 1.2-litre with 86bhp, a 1.4-litre with 120bhp or the range-topping 1.4-litre engine with 182bhp.

There will be only diesel version available at launch - the 1.6-litre engine with 89bhp. The newly introduced 2.0-litre diesel, with 141bhp, will come in the summer 2012. All engines, apart from the 182bhp petrol unit, come with stop/start technology to lower emissions and improve economy.

The diesel engine is likely to be the more popular among company car drivers and offers low tax costs. With emissions of just 99g/km it falls in to the 13% bracket for BIK taxation. This means that based on a 20% tax rate and P11d value of £16,825, the monthly cost for the 1.6 TDI Sport is just £36 per month.

There’s the now recognisable trim line-up of SE, Sport and S Line on offer, while the emphasis on personalising the A1 continues to be pushed by the brand as it looks to get the edge over BMW’s MINI.

The A1 Sportback is set to go on sale in early 2012. Prices will start at £13,980 for the 1.2-litre SE model, rising to £21,270 for the top-of-the-range 1.4-litre 182bhp S Line version.