At the 2008 Paris Motor Show Audi has unveiled the A1 Sportback Concept, a five-door compact vehicle with a hybrid powertrain. The dynamic design is an evolution of the 2007 three-door quattro concept.
From the official Press Release:
The car is powered by a 1.4-litre TFSI engine developing 110 kW (150 hp), whose power is directed to the front wheels by means of the S tronic dual-clutch transmission.
A 20 kW (27 hp) electric motor integrated in the drive train is able to deliver up to an additional 150 Nm of torque (110.63 lb-ft) when the vehicle is accelerating.
The electric motor is furthermore capable of powering the vehicle alone for zero-emission driving in residential areas, for instance.
The capacity of the lithium-ion batteries gives the vehicle a range of up to 100 km (62.14 miles) in pure electric mode; the motor can be recharged from any power socket.
The automatic start/stop facility, energy regeneration and phases of purely electrical operation reduce the fuel consumption and emissions of the Audi A1 Sportback concept by almost 30 percent compared to when it is running on the combustion engine alone.
Despite its sporty performance, with acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 200 km/h (124.27 mph), the Audi A1 Sportback concept requires only 3.9 liters of premium fuel per 100 km (60.31 US mpg); CO2 emissions are an efficient 92 g/km (148.06 g/mile).
The chassis design consists of a McPherson front suspension and four-link independent rear suspension, which splits the functions for absorbing longitudinal and lateral forces, allowing for a high level of lateral rigidity ans well as a great degree of longitudinal flexibility to improve ride comfort.
The 18-inch wheels are combined with 225/35 R18 tires. The braking system has 312 mm diameter front discs.
The shock absorbers use a a magneto-rheological fluid whose qualities can be controlled by means of an electromagnetic field. This effect enables the damping characteristic to be influenced electronically at will by applying a voltage to the electromagnets.
Among the additional controls are the new active, ESP-controlled front differential lock, that helps in distributing the torque according to the driving situation and the electromechanical steering with speed-sensitive power.
The styling of the five-door concept vehicle is a consistent development of the three-door study, the Audi A1 project quattro from the year 2007. Surfaces and lines are tauter and more masculine.
Like the three-door version, the body of the four-door Audi A1 Sportback concept makes optimum use of the small road surface area available to a vehicle from the premium compact class.
Measuring 3.99 m long (13.09 ft) and 1.75 m wide (5.74 ft) with a wheelbase of 2.46 m (8.07 ft) and a height of 1.40 meters (4.59 ft), it succeeds in combining sporty looks with impressive economy of space thanks to its short overhangs.
The transverse installation of the engine also has a significant role to play in this respect.
The basic proportions, with a high vehicle body and a flat window area bordered by a coupe-like roof line, produce a virtually classic look for a vehicle bearing the four rings.
The rear end is rounded off by a two-part spoiler with a striking centre groove, integrated into the rear window.
The side view presents another typical coupe attribute in the form of doors with frameless windows and a glass-covered and thus homogeneously integrated B-pillar.
The bold segmentation of the study’s side paneling with its gently rising shoulder line accentuates the styling.
The shoulder line of the Audi A1 Sportback concept with its Daytona Grey paint finish is a new interpretation of a trademark feature of the current Audi design.
Here, the prominent double lines continue around the entire vehicle as a curvaceous band that links the front end – from which it seems to emerge – with the vehicle’s tail, which rises to create a slightly wedge-shaped effect.
The aerodynamically designed single-frame grille indicates the sporty character of the study, which is further emphasized by the flared fenders – a tribute to the legendary Ur-quattro design and the current Audi RS 6.
The design of the three-dimensional main headlights in innovative LED technology is especially eye-catching.
The completely new styling underlines yet again the amount of freedom that this technology has afforded to designers. All light functions – low-beam and high-beam headlights, daytime running lights and turn indicators – have been located in one flat housing, in concentrically arranged, parallel and squared-off strips.
The layout, with light segments of varying sizes – the low beam taking up most space – completely changes the character of the front section, the “face” of the A1 Sportback concept.
The rear lights continue this theme and combine the function of tail and brake lights, turn indicators, reversing and rear fog lights.
The interplay of acute and obtuse angles and the clear and colored glass areas create a particularly dynamic look. A large-dimensioned, transparent cover over the entire width of the vehicle additionally combines both light units and emphasizes the horizontal design of the rear.