Audi has let the not so quiet A1 Metroproject Quattro Concept Car out of its shell, but not before it took on its shape. Is it not just the cutest, sports turtle you have ever seen? To counter the cutesy factor assigned to “Mini” cars in the small car market Audi has infused their A1 with an assertive and purposeful front end that looks like it wants to do business with many advanced technologies engineered beneath the esthetic’s that are all about fuel savings and advancing performance. It is time to dig into what makes up the A1.
First we have to talk about what you do not see. The Audi A1 is powered by a 1.4 liter TFSI engine that is paired up with a S-tronic dual-clutch transmission. The 150-hp coming out of the engine go directly to the front tires, but the front wheels do not do all the work alone. Hidden in the back is a 41-hp electric motor that feeds the rear wheels upon take-off and at slower speeds. On its own the electric motor allows the A1 to travel in the city emissions free and up to 60 miles an hour.
Other built in technologies on the A1 that promote fuel savings are regenerative braking and engine stop/start; which allows the engine to stop when the car is at idle and then start back up immediately when the accelerator is applied. The hybrid mode, the regenerative breaking and the engine stop/start all help combine to allow the A1 Metroproject Quattro to claim a fuel mileage rating of 47-mpg. However, the A1 will not get the nod for being the quickest with a zero-to-sixty time of 7.8 seconds. Fuel savings has a price.
The cabin of the Audi A1 concept car is not hurting for technology either. The primary control for all the gadgetry in the A1 is an iPhone like media controller that acts as part remote control, part phone, part navigation, part mp3 player, part camera/picture saver andÂ part Lo-Jack device. There are a number of on-board cameras in the A1, presumably both inside and out, and the hand-held controller can store images from any one of them. Those cameras can also be managed and views selected by the driver on the steering wheels. Camera views have replaced the importance of cruise control it seems. And if your car is ever taken from you the controller will aid you and the police in locating your car and possibly in taking photos of its location and the would be perpetrators of the theft/friendly borrowing.
Ofcourse all that technology is being introduced at the concept stage of things and may not be fully ready when the car meets the open market… and it seems inevitable that this car will be built. The small car market is the fastest growing market today and has forced many brands to refocus their manufacturing assets. Trucks and SUV’s are just notÂ the trendÂ that they used to be. It is hip to be small… for cars…Â for now.