liter TFSI i-4 hybrid
lb-ft + 110 lb-ft
hp + 27 hp
107.1 hp per liter
(from Audi Press
Release) Audi A1 Sportback concept: Compact five-door
model with hybrid drive
At the Paris Motor Show (October 2-10, 2008), Audi is unveiling the
A1 Sportback concept study: following on from the Audi A1 project
quattro, the three-door show car presented in 2007, this is a
concept for a five-door four-seater for the sub-compact class – once
again exhibiting all the
characteristics of a genuine Audi. The 3.99-meter long (13.09 ft)
and 1.75-meter wide (5.74 ft) vehicle combines cutting-edge, dynamic
styling with optimum economy of space and supreme quality. At the
same time, a series of visionary technical solutions take
efficiency, dynamism and motoring
pleasure into new territory as only Audi knows how.
Audi is presenting another version of the innovative hybrid
technology in the drive unit for the A1 Sportback concept. At work
under the hood is 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.
During the boosting phase, i.e. when the TFSI engine and electric
motor operate simultaneously to enable a sporty driving style, the
two power packs deliver impressive propulsion. The tried-and-tested
front-wheel drive – supplemented by the newly developed,
ESP-controlled active front differential lock – ensures optimum
transfer of power to the road.
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
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 design - Exterior
The difference is not
down to the two extra doors alone: 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 distinctly tauter and more masculine.
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-on 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 yet another 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 ambitions of the study, which are 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, too, continue this theme and combine the function
of tail and brake lights, turn indicators, reversing and rear fog
lights into an unmistakable design. 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.
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), 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 third dimension
of this compact, sporty car – i.e. the height – comes in at 1.40
meters (4.59 ft).
The interior, with its
four individual seats and a surprisingly generous amount of
spaciousness for this class, has a tidy, no-frills appearance. The
curved, wraparound section combines the doors and the sporty cockpit
into one single unit. The dashboard and center console are designed
entirely around the driver.
Ergonomics and aesthetics unite to create an ambience of clear-cut
architecture and high-class appeal. Details such as the turbine-look
air vents and air conditioning controls seem to be straight out of a
jet plane. This is where advanced form and precise function are
combined in typical Audi fashion: air flow direction and volume can
be regulated simply and intuitively by turning or pressing the
control button in the centre of the vent.
The center console accommodates the integrated selector lever, only
extended in drive select dynamic mode, the start/stop button for the
engine, the switch for Audi drive select and the armrest with an
integrated mobile phone pocket.
The sporty seats with integrated head restraints offer levels of
comfort and ergonomics that far exceed the customary standards in
the sub-compact class and live up to the expectations of a typical
Audi. A transparent, mesh-like fabric covers the lightweight seat
apertures, which further accentuates the airiness of the design.
The materials used for the interior trim appeal with their
high-class looks and feel. The contrasting color scheme for the
interior – white and red – emphasizes the feeling of spaciousness.
Audi mobile device – the second
Whereas the Audi A1
project quattro study featured its own mobile control unit for
infotainment and vehicle systems, the A1 Sportback concept takes one
step further into the future: the driver can use his commercially
available mobile phone (equipped accordingly) as a car phone,
address database, navigation system and audio/video player. At the
same time it can be used as a control unit for numerous vehicle
systems in the Audi A1 Sportback concept. Several phones that are
suitable for these functions are already available from various
All that is required is some additional software, which Audi will
provide on the internet for the driver to download and install. He
can then enter his route plan or adjust the sound system to his
individual preferences, all from the comfort of his own home, for
The mobile phone and vehicle communicate via a fast WLAN connection,
even over considerable distances.
The system also offers the user a security function: within the
range of the WLAN it can constantly monitor the current status of
the vehicle, for instance whether all windows and doors are closed.
What’s more, the additional software offers numerous comfort and
convenience features such as continued destination guidance on the
mobile device after the vehicle has been left in a car park. If the
user sets a maximum parking time with the device, its navigation
software leads him back to the Audi A1 Sportback concept – in good
time of course, allowing for the current distance from the vehicle.
During the journey the mobile device demonstrates its strength as a
portable media player. If the user listens to a song in a certain
driving situation – on the motorway, for example – it is entered in
an appropriate playlist. The software registers when and where the
user prefers to listen to particular songs. The music is then
available at the right moment.
The MMI control unit in the vehicle is a further development of the
familiar design. In terms of feel it is easier to operate,
particularly while driving. Grouped around the central rotary
pushbutton are four fixed-function hardkeys for the Navigation,
Telephone, Car and Media basic menus. Four additional, backlit
softkeys have variable functions which change within the individual
The projected softkey labels combine with the bold softkey colors
that identify the corresponding menus to ensure swift, intuitive
All system information appears in the central display in the
instrument cluster. This is designed in its entirety as a digital,
freely configurable display with no mechanical elements.
Superimposed glass elements make the graphics stand out with a
three-dimensional look, producing a level of depth which could never
be attained using a standard display.
As well as the virtual, large circular dial of the analog
speedometer, which is always visible on the right-hand side of the
instrument cluster, numerous other displays can be called up on
request, and can be selected via control buttons on the steering
wheel. These include infotainment, classic navigation by pictogram
or map, a rev counter, information on how to drive as efficiently as
possible and a current status report on the hybrid drive.
The layout of the infotainment display features icons arranged in a
semicircle. As the driver turns the central MMI rotary pushbutton,
the icons mimic the movement until the desired function is selected
by pushing the button. Content can therefore be communicated
visually, enabling it to be grasped faster and more intuitively than
Audi drive select
The Audi A1 Sportback
concept features Audi drive select, which is also available as an
option in the current generation of the Audi A4 bestseller. This
enables the driver to pre-select one of two specially adapted
configurations for the drivetrain, shift characteristics and
magnetic ride shock absorbers.
The default setting is the “efficiency” mode. In this mode, the
engine and transmission respond gently to use of the accelerator and
shift paddles. This setting is ideal for a relaxed driving style, as
well as offering tremendous potential for effectively lowering fuel
consumption, and therefore emissions too.
In the “efficiency” mode the Audi A1 Sportback concept can be used
for distances of up to 100 kilometers (62.14 miles) in purely
electric mode – and it is quite speedy, too: thanks to the powerful
battery it is possible to reach a speed of considerably more than
100 km/h (62.14 mph). The combustion engine only cuts in again once
battery capacity has dropped to below 20 percent of maximum.
In this mode, the electric motor is not deployed as a source of
additional torque; instead it is run selectively as the sole power
source to bring about a tangible reduction in consumption. For this
purpose, the system makes use of a host of parameters which can be
fed to it via the navigation system. In the “efficiency” mode, for
example, with a fully charged battery and a distance of less than
50 kilometers (31.07 miles) the vehicle is operated in principle on
purely electrical power.
Thanks to the navigation system’s ability to detect differences in
altitude along the route, regeneration phases as well as the
increase in energy requirements on inclines can be computed before
the journey has even started. This makes vehicle operation even more
efficient through optimum utilization of the electric motor.
The sport mode is designed to produce the dynamic yet comfortable
driving sensation that is so typical of the brand and that Audi
drivers have come to expect of their car. In this mode, the
vehicle’s electronics also harness the torque available from the
electric motor to achieve extra-sporty acceleration along with
excellent lateral dynamics.
sportiness plus a whole new dimension in efficiency – it is all down
to the combination of a state-of-the-art turbocharged FSI engine
with an electric motor and innovative control electronics.
Under the hood of the Audi A1 Sportback concept sits a four-cylinder
TFSI with a capacity of 1.4 liters and a turbocharger. This engine
is an advanced version of the unit that made its series production
debut in the Audi A3. Whereas the 1.4 TFSI musters 92 kW (125 hp) in
the A3, it delivers 110 kW (150 hp) at 5,500 rpm in the study. Its
peak torque of 240 Nm (177.01 lb-ft) is on tap over a broad rev band
from 1,600 – 4,000 rpm.
The Audi engineers have long since proven the performance potential
of turbocharged FSI technology, both on race tracks around the world
and out on the road. Indeed, a jury of experts awarded the accolade
of “Engine of the Year” to the 2.0 TFSI for the fourth year in
succession in 2008.
The new 1.4 TFSI builds on this very same concept in order to
maximize efficiency and performance. Multi-hole injectors result in
very homogeneous mixture formation and extremely efficient
combustion. This is also an effective means of helping to cut
The integrated turbocharger promises optimized responsiveness and
even more harmonious torque build-up. 80 percent of peak torque can
be summoned up from as low down as 1,250 rpm, in other words barely
above idling speed. And despite its power, the 1.4 TFSI sets new
benchmark standards in its class for its acoustic output too.
Power transmission to
the front wheels is the task of the sporty Audi S tronic dual-clutch
gearbox. It allows the driver to change gear in fractions of a
second without the use of a clutch pedal and with no interruption to
the power flow. If required, the transmission performs the gear
changes fully automatically, too. If the driver wishes to change
gear manually, he can do so by using the shift paddles mounted on
the steering wheel. Reverse gear and neutral are engaged via the
gear knob on the centre console. The park position is automatically
selected when the electric parking brake is engaged.
Between combustion engine and transmission sits the 20 kW (27 hp)
electric unit, which cuts in automatically depending on the selected
operating mode – or propels the vehicle alone. The battery unit – a
package of compact lithium-ion batteries – is installed at the rear
of the vehicle, which makes for a good weight balance.
When powered solely by the combustion engine or purely by the
electric motor, and when both are used in the boost mode, the A1
Sportback concept operates as a front-wheel drive vehicle. The high
torque of 390 Nm in total (287.64 lb-ft) – 240 Nm (177.01 lb-ft)
from the 1.4 TFSI plus an extra 150 Nm (110.63 lb-ft) from the
electric motor – is transformed into the required level of tractive
Overrun, or the so-called regeneration phase, is one of the most
important instruments of this vehicle concept for optimizing
efficiency as it transforms the braking energy released during
deceleration phases back into electrical energy, instead of it being
wasted and released as heat.
The Audi A1 Sportback concept can in principle run
self-sufficiently, using mixed operation of the combustion engine
and electric motor. Thanks to the intelligent management of both
units, energy regeneration as well as the automatic start/stop
function, fuel consumption is almost 30 percent lower compared to a
vehicle running on the gasoline engine alone. Although the
components of the electric
motor add around 40 kilograms to the overall weight, the study still
only burns 3.9 liters of premium fuel per 100 km (60.31 US mpg) in
mixed mode, while CO2 emissions average just 92 g/km (148.06
Pure electrical operation over shorter distances, however, is a
particularly attractive alternative offered by this vehicle that
benefits the environment and the wallet alike – all the more so
considering that the performance achieved in this mode and the range
of over 50 kilometers (31.07 miles) are perfectly satisfactory.
“Refueling” the Audi A1 Sportback concept from power sockets alone,
produces an unequivocal result: even allowing for the relatively
high costs of domestic electricity in Germany, it is still possible
to achieve a saving or more than 80 percent compared with the price
of premium fuel. Thanks to “zero emissions” the benefit to the
environment is even greater, particularly in
congested urban areas.
ingredient for outstanding driving safety and handling dynamics is
supplied by the sophisticated chassis design, comprising McPherson
front suspension and four-link independent rear suspension. Large
18-inch wheels with size 225/35 R18 tires boost both driving
pleasure and safety. Thanks to the newly developed active,
ESP-controlled front differential lock, propulsive torque is
distributed according to the driving situation, thereby achieving
enhanced steering precision and superior directional stability as
well as improved traction and dynamic handling when cornering.
The dynamic chassis is tuned for sporty, agile handling combined
with excellent stability, and makes cornering a particular delight.
What’s more, the chassis excels with a level of ride comfort
befitting of higher vehicle classes.
The braking system with its large-diameter discs (measuring 312 mm
across (12.28 in) at the front wheels) is more than a match for the
drive power. Bred on the racetrack, the system promises outstanding,
fade-free stopping power. The electromechanical steering with
speed-sensitive power assistance is also a boon for agile handling.
The system boasts optimum steering feel combined with
low sensitivity to road surface excitation and a considerable
reduction in energy consumption.
The specific strengths of the four-link suspension stem from the way
in which it splits the functions for absorbing longitudinal and
lateral forces. This permits a high level of lateral rigidity on the
one hand for optimum dynamism and driving safety, while offering a
great degree of longitudinal flexibility on the other to improve
The shock absorbers deploy a highly innovative technology in the
form of Audi magnetic ride, which has already made its mark in the
Audi R8 high-performance sports car and in the TT. Here, the
conventional shock absorber fluid is replaced by 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
Audi magnetic ride capitalizes on this quality to make the
appropriate damping forces available in any driving situation,
thereby optimizing both ride comfort and performance dynamics. A
computer linked up to a system of sensors interprets the current
driving situation with split-second speed. Here, the driver can
choose between two driving programs, depending on whether he wants
to drive with a
sportier style – with the magneto-rheological fluid requiring a low
yield stress – or with a greater emphasis on ride comfort.