Audi has among the broadest of lineups when it comes to premium SUVS, ranging from the petite Q2 to the massive coupé-style Q8. But even Ingolstadt believes those crossovers aren’t enough to satisfy its customers, it seems, as it has introduced an even smaller model – the absolutely bijou A1 citycarver.
Now, the citycarver isn’t a full-fledged Q model, being part of the regular A1 hatch range. But it sports a number of aesthetic cues from its larger, (marginally) more rugged siblings – starting with the octagonal “singleframe” grille with a matte black honeycomb mesh.
To differentiate the car from the standard A1 Sportback, Audi has reduced the number of fake air vents along the edge of the bonnet from three to two. More fakery comes in the form of the pair of “air inlets” flanking the grille and the skid plate made to look like stainless steel – all of which are repeated at the rear of the car.
You also get contrast-painted side and wheel arch mouldings and a roof spoiler from the S line models, as well as a ride height that’s been increased by up to four centimetres. The raised suspension contributes 35 mm to that figure, and the rest comes from the larger wheels that measure 16 inches and up. The roof can also be had in a contrast colour, in either Mythos black metallic or Manhattan grey metallic.
The funky, minimalist interior has been largely carried over from the Sportback, with the sole change being the colour options for the door handle inserts and gearlever surrounds – mint, copper, orange or grey. The S line interior package, which adds a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a choice of part-faux leather and Alcantara upholsteries, also throws in a structured grey option.
The citycarver continues to receive a digital instrument cluster as standard, with the Audi virtual cockpit plus display available as an option. Also on the options list is the MMI navigation plus infotainment system with a 10.1-inch touchscreen, HERE mapping with a Google Earth overlay, real-time traffic and parking information and a WiFi hotspot, along with wireless charging and a 560-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Sportier handling comes in the form of the optional Dynamic package, which incorporates red brake callipers, the drive select system, adaptive dampers and a sound actuator that provides a rortier exhaust note. Audi has not released details of the engine lineup as yet, but it should mirror that of the Sportback.
The latter is offered with petrol engines that include a 1.0 litre three-cylinder and a 1.5 and 2.0 litre four-pot, with outputs ranging from 95 hp to 200 hp. There’s also a choice of either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed S tronic dry dual-clutch transmission; the 200 hp 40 TFSI is only available with a six-speed wet-clutch DCT. Unfortunately, you don’t get quattro all-wheel drive to back the rugged look.
The citycarver will go on sale in Europe next month, and for a limited time Audi will also offer an edition one variant. This one gets arrow grey or pulse orange paint and comes with 18-inch wheels, gloss black exterior highlights, smoked head- and tail lights, contrast roof and door mirrors, “edition one” decals along the side and a standard S line interior with either orange or silver trim.