Audi’s movie starlet, the new A1, will be on UK roads by the end of 2010 so the order books were opened today together with details of the equipment lists being made available for the brand’s first premium small car since the A2.

Prices will range from £13,145 to £18,280 OTR across three main classes of specification; SE, Sport and S line. The 1.2 TFSI petrol and 1.6 TDI engines will be available across all models in the range, whilst the 1.4 TFSI petrol engine will be offered with Sport and S line options only. Standard features include engine start-stop function, energy recuperation, alloy wheels, air conditioning, single CD audio system with MP3 compatibility, ESP with latest differential lock system.

Facing up to BMW’s Mini

The A1 is 200 mm longer than the Mini, although they match eachother in wheelbase

So how does the A1’s pricing stack up to that other premium small car, BMW’s Mini?

Without digging into the details of their respective standard specifications, the first point to note is you can get on the Mini ladder from £11,160 with the 74 bhp Mini First. Audi’s A1 range starts with the 85 bhp 1.2 TFSI for £2,000 more – both average in the mid-50’s mpg for the combined cycle (A1 55.4mpg, Mini 52.3 mpg), with the A1 bettering the Mini on CO2 emissions at 118 g/km against 127 g/km for the Mini.

Next step up in the Mini line-up is the Mini One, wielding a heady 97 bhp, same fuel economy and emissions as the Mini First and yet still £500 cheaper than the entry-level A1.

If you’re looking for a diesel A1, then yet again the Mini out-punches it 108 bhp vs 103 bhp, edging ahead on the CO2 and fuel economy fronts as well – Mini Cooper D: 72.4 mpg 104 g/km CO2, A1 1.6 TDI: 70.6mpg 105g/km CO2. In this case it’s the A1 which is cheaper at £14,180.00 compared with the Mini’s £15,160.00, so clearly you need to look carefully at the ideal price/specification points in each range.

The top of the range 1.4 TFSI powered A1 delivers its 120 bhp and 200Nm via the standard six-speed manual gearbox or the optional seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission. Equipped with S tronic it takes the A1 to 62mph in 8.9 seconds, and on to 126mph. In performance terms the 1.4 TFSI equates with the Mini Cooper with exactly the same power output but 40Nm more torque from its lightly turbocharged engine.

The A1’s turbocharged engine delivers further gains in economy and efficiency – 54.3 mpg with an 119g/km CO2 output compared with the Mini Cooper – 52.3 mpg with an 127g/km CO2. But then the Mini Cooper can be purchase from £13,980.00 OTR compared with the cheapest A1 1.4 TFSI at £15,345.00.

At first glance it therefore looks like Audi have priced the A1 above the Mini, which means it will need to score well in terms of style and driveability when both cars are pitted head to head.

Premium specification

Features common to the SE, Sport and S line options available for UK A1 models will include alloy wheels, remote central locking, air conditioning, electric front windows and mirrors and a six-speaker single CD audio system with auxiliary iPod connection linked to a 6.5-inch retractable display.

Sport model additions include larger diameter wheels, sports suspension, sports seats, Bluetooth mobile phone preparation and a Driver’s Information System, while S line versions upgrade with extras such as an exclusive S line exterior treatment including larger 17-inch alloy wheels, S line sports suspension and leather and cloth combination upholstery.

Xenon headlamps with trademark LED daytime running lights will be available at extra cost exclusively for S line models, but all versions will offer the option to upgrade with premium segment enhancements such as a BOSE sound system including LED-lit woofers, DAB radio, the Audi Music Interface for iPod connection, cruise and parking distance controls and the Multi Media Interface (MMI) navigation plus system.

The new Audi A1 – Confirmed UK Pricing and Specification

SE model pricing

Engines Power Transmission Basic RRP Total RRP
(inc VAT)
Recommended OTR
1.2 TFSI SE 86PS 5-speed manual £10,646.81 £12,510.00 £13,145.00
1.6 TDI SE 105PS 5-speed manual £11,527.66 £13,545.00 £14,180.00

Sport model pricing

Engines Power Transmission Basic RRP Total RRP
(inc VAT)
Recommended OTR
1.2 TFSI Sport 86PS 5-speed manual £12,178.72 £14,310.00 £14,945.00
1.4 TFSI Sport 122PS 6-speed manual £12,519.15 £14,710.00 £15,345.00
7-speed S tronic £13,727.66 £16,130.00 £16,765.00
1.6 TDI Sport 105PS 5-speed manual £13,059.57 £15,345.00 £15,980.00

S line model pricing

Engines Power Transmission Basic RRP Total RRP
(inc VAT)
Recommended OTR
1.2 TFSI S line 86PS 5-speed manual £13,468.09 £15,825.00 £16,460.00
1.4 TFSI S line 122PS 6-speed manual £13,808.51 £16,225.00 £16,860.00
7-speed S tronic £15,017.02 £17,645.00 £18,280.00
1.6 TDI S line 105PS 5-speed manual £14,348.94 £16,860.00 £17,495.00

You can view all of Audi’s videos for the A1 by visiting the Audi Channel on SkiddPlayer