Audi A1

At auto shows in recent years, Audi hinted at the A1 with a number of concepts, and seemed intent on offering a premium city car. The resulting A1 competes with the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500, and is aimed at young, affluent buyers living in cities.
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Audi A1

In Europe, the A1 can be had with a 1.6-liter TDI engine, a diesel, or a 1.4-liter turbocharged direct injection gasoline engine. The latter produces 122 horsepower, getting the A1 to 60 mph in about 9 seconds. Mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, it gets fuel economy of 44 mpg.
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Audi A1

At only 13 feet long, the A1 has a shallow cargo area. Likewise, rear passenger space is limited, with meager legroom. The car stands a little over 4.5 feet tall.
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Audi A1

In the cabin, Audi offers surprisingly good technology, up with its high-end models. The navigation system comes with a 60GB hard drive and has detailed 3D topographic maps. Of that space, 20GB can be used to store music. The available Bose audio system uses a 10-channel 465-watt amp powering 14 speakers, which should equal a lot of sound for a small space.
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Audi A1 e-tron

At the recent Frankfurt and Detroit auto shows, Audi showed off two sleek electric car concepts, referring to them both as e-tron. The latest e-tron, based on the A1, looks nothing like those cars, but is more likely to reach production.
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Audi A1 e-tron

This newest e-tron is driven by a small electric motor making 102 horsepower, enough to send the car to 60 mph in about 10 seconds. A lithium ion battery pack gives it range of only 31 miles, but it also has a range-extending engine that generates enough electricity to get the car another 125 miles.
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Audi A1 e-tron

The navigation screen and interface controls in the e-tron look the same as in the standard A1, suggesting the same cabin tech. However, the e-tron uses an LED for its instrument cluster. Its drive controller is a small lever.
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Photo by: Wayne Cunningham/CNET / Caption by:

Audi A1 e-tron

Audi built this window in the cargo compartment of the e-tron to show off one of the lithium ion battery packs. The electric motor and generator engine are mounted in front, under the hood, and drive the front wheels.
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Photo by: Wayne Cunningham/CNET / Caption by:
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