According to our calculations, Audi has launched a new SUV-crossover-thing on average every two weeks for the last few months. And so it continues with this, the Audi A1 Citycarver, a ruggedised version of the four rings’ supermini.
Apparently Audi elected not to use the Allroad tag applied to its high-riding A4 and A6 as the Citycarver won’t be available with four-wheel-drive. And let’s face it, the vast majority of these will spend their life in the urban sprawl, where their extra suspension travel will make speed humps and potholes more tolerable and give better visibility from a higher driving position.
The suspension has been raised by two inches, combined with bigger 16in and 18in wheels . The styling has been revised with a much larger ‘Singleframe’ grille and wheelarch, sill and bumper cladding finished in black and/or aluminium. The bumpers have been beefed up, too, with bigger extractor ‘vents’ – the Citycarver is marginally longer than the standard hatchback.
Inside, the A1’s rather austere ambience is enlivened with contrasting trim around the air vents, centre console and door cards in colours ranging from grey to mint green. Some of the exterior colours are similarly… sudden.
Equipment levels are pretty lavish, including a 10.25in digital instrument panel and a 8.8in infotainment touchscreen. Of course, the options list is lengthy in the extreme, as well, including a bigger touchscreen. So if, for some reason, you wanted to spec your Citycarver to the same level as an A8 limo, you can. But you’ll pay for it – very heavily.
Two engines are available, both petrols – a 1.0 turbo triple producing 116hp and a 1.5 4cyl turbo making 150hp.
The A1 Citycarver goes on sale in the UK in September. There are a number of cars of a similar format available here – the Ford Fiesta Active to name but one. They only sell in fairly modest numbers, but seem to be increasing in popularity. And all of them are considerably cheaper than the Citycarver would be, so it’d find itself in a unique position.
In short, we won’t be remotely surprised if the Citycarver turns out to be a hit.
By Graham King