New A1 Sportback Concept features an advanced hybrid system and seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox

New A1 Sportback Concept features an advanced hybrid system and seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox

Audi has taken the wraps off its second concept vehicle to wear the ‘A1’ moniker in less than a year, revealing the car online less than a day out from its world debut at this week’s Paris Motor Show. The first A1 concept vehicle was the Metroproject Quattro hybrid concept from last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, and like the original the latest version also features a hybrid powertrain.

As its name suggests, the A1 Sportback features a five-door bodystyle and a sloping rear hatch design. Other features are shared with the previous Metroproject, although the Sportback features a longer wheelbase, a new grille and unique bumpers. At 13.09ft (3.99m) long and 5.74ft (1.75m) wide, the car is still fully within the compact class, however.

Under the hood sits the same 1.4L TFSI engine as the Metroproject and is mated to a S-tronic seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The 150hp (110kW) petrol engine is also mated to a 27hp (20kW) electric motor, which can drive the vehicle for short distances on its own or assist the internal combustion engine during high loads. The electric motor adds an additional 110lb-ft (150Nm) of instantaneous torque and is powered by an array of lithium-ion batteries. A true plug-in hybrid which can be charged from any standard power outlet, the car also has an electric-only range of 62mi (100km) at up to 62mph (100km/h).

New features include five-door body and sloping Sportback profile.

New features include five-door body and sloping Sportback profile.

The car's sole focus isn't efficiency, however, as the combined power of the combustion engine and electric motor result in a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 7.9 seconds. Fuel consumption is still important, as it is with all future-oriented cars, and sits around the 60mpg (3.9L/100km) mark. The vehicle’s carbon-emission rating is a correspondingly low 92g/km. The car also features an engine stop-start feature to save further fuel.

Audi's Drive Select system also enables the driver to choose between sporty or efficient driving modes, which alter throttle and gear-shifting response parameters to suit the driving styles associated with each. A dynamically adjustable magnetic ride suspension system co-opted from the Audi R8 and TT ensures the car is ready for whatever the driver or road can throw at it.

Eighteen-inch wheels and large four-wheel disc brakes ensure good grip and stopping power for the car's sportier moments, while the aerodynamic design and low profile enhance both efficiency and speed.