Let’s get one thing straight here – this isn’t your usual Audi in the strict sense. It’s probably more like what an A4 was right out of school – a bit mad, loud, young, peppy, fashionable and always up for a bit of fun. Sure, other Audis have bits of all those things but none have them in the truckloads. This one does. While the grown-up A4 turns up in a business suit with a laptop bag, the A1 turns up with a party hat on, wearing Bermudas and sneakers, still smelling of beer from last night’s party. The A1 was meant to be the feisty young fighter of the Audi line-up and guess what, it’s all that and then some! It’s more fun than spring boarding into a blue pool on a nice sunny morning in Goa. It’s more fun than playing Angry Birds for the first time. Clearly, one German company has done its homework. If it’s the (rather well-heeled) youth this car is meant to appeal to, it fits the bill perfectly.
Now, at this point, I’d request you to take all the preconceived notions you have about ‘small cars’ as such and show them the door. Yes, this is a small car but only when it comes to defining its size. For everything else, it could well be something right out of a luxury sedan. And that’s the point, you see. The A1 was born out of the need for Audi clientele (or prospective, anyway) to have a smaller A3/A4 for the urban environs, but the key for Audi in this crowded space was the luxury and the technology deployed. Yes, Mini created the market, the Fiat 500 and the Beetle followed and the appetite in the market for such chic li’l things grew by the day. But then Audi played their card and they sure know how to play. They wanted to rope in trendy young ’uns with deep wallets and that’s what’s happened – they’ve flocked to it like teenage girls do to Ewan McGregor. It already is Audi’s fastest-selling car in history, a testament to the fact that Ingolstadt knew what the market was thinking, probably even before they did. If you take the whole of Audi and squeeze all of its essence into 4 metres by 2, it’s the A1 that will come to life. And it really does come to life. Thumb the starter, will you?
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