Audi has come up with something called the A1 Citycarver and it left many people confused when I talked to them about the car, so let’s clear some things up!
The A1 Citycarver is the sibling to the well known A1. However, it does have a different approach to it. The best way I could describe it is that it’s similar to the Allroads without the Quattro. Get it?
Whilst looking similar to the A1, you can easily differentiate the Citycarver from a normal Sportback. First of all, it’s a full 4 centimeter higher than an A1 Sportback. Secondly, it receives these wider black painted wheel arches. Making the whole car look extra tough and cool.
Lastly, the front and rear bumpers have been slightly redesigned creating a distinctive look that still relates to it’s smaller (read: less high) sibling.
The A1 Citycarver we tested was the Launch Edition (LE) version which features a rare beautiful grey color (not a boring one), shadow look across the car. There’s also a set of special wheels and a dedicated sticker pack with “Edition One” on the side. Very cool but kinda confusing when you’re calling it both a Launch Edition as well as an Edition One.
Along with the LE comes the Dynamic package giving larger brake rotors, red calipers, adjustable dampers, and a Drive Select that activates a sound actuator when putting the Citycarver into Sport. Something that’s a big nono on performance cars works very well in this little Audi, kudos to them.
But maybe the coolest part, blacked-out LED headlights. It’s only available through the Launch Edition which makes it ever so desirable.
A true carver of the cities?
With its compact dimensions, it’s able to really move through the busier cities. Steering is sharp and precise. It makes weaving through traffic in Dynamic mode such fun. Well, maybe that’s also because of the sound actuator that makes you feel like you’re going faster than you actually are.
Dampening is really comfortable yet there’s nearly no body-roll noticeable. It corners very flat. The tiny 1.0L three-cylinder with its 116 hp is peppy enough to move about in the city. The S-Tronic gearbox responds well to the gas pedal without going into crazy high revs each time.
The only problem with this engine is its high fuel consumption. On highways, it averages around 7-7,5L/100 km which surprised me, to be honest. Okay, it’s a lot less polluting than cars were 10 years ago but you kinda hoped that fuel consumption would’ve been lower for such a small car. Not a major dealbreaker but it did surprise me.
It’s a great handling piece and it left me lingering how good a Quattro version could be… Audi, you cooking up a new S1? Pretty please?
We’ve seen our fair share of interiors here at CJ. However, we were very surprised by the interior of the A1. The steering wheel feels so nice and refined.
The Virtual Cockpit design is very sharp and neatly customizable but without overkill on data. Scrolling through the different screens is easy thanks to the use of good old fashioned buttons instead of touchy things.
The design of the dashboard is refreshingly quirky. What I mean by that is: that it’s cool to see a new, more angular interpretation of a dashboard. Plastics are very good and the buttons feel wonderfully tactile.
But damn the resolution on the infotainment system, it’s insane how sharp this display is. I can’t remember when I encountered a screen of this resolution in a car.
I’m probably going a little fanboy on this but I can’t really flaunt the interior on this part. Quality-wise it’s probably the best in terms of materials in its segment.
Oh yeah, the unpleasant sound the handbrake makes is a little below the standard of the rest of the interior.
Falling in love with the little Citycarver
The A1 Citycarver really lives up to its name. It’s a practical little thing that dominates the bigger cities, the interior is a luxury to live in for such a small car. However, the higher fuel consumption on highways is somewhat of a turndown but a manual transmission might fix that.
Other than that, there’s not really much to improve and starting at 23.000 € it’s a damn good deal as well. Now when’s that Quattro version coming?