Ingolstadt - Audi’s smallest hatchback has been given a dose of SUV steroids, and the result is what they call the A1 citycarver.

The new hatch in hiking boots is similar in concept to Audi’s Allroad models, except there is no mention of quattro all-wheel-drive (it is for the city after all), but Audi has given it an extra 4cm of ground clearance - which it says is for better visibility and easier entry, not mounting pavements.

A more rugged look comes courtesy of larger model-specific wheels, starting at 16 inches, a unique front grille with a matt black honeycomb pattern as well as redesigned front and rear bumpers with stainless steel underbody protection and wheel arch mouldings.

Buyers can choose from nine exterior colours, with contrasting roof options in Mythos black or Manhattan gray, and a black styling package for the lower body attachments is also available.

The interior is largely as per the regular A1 hatchback, and can be coloured up, with Audi offering orange, copper, mint or silver-gray options for the vents, centre console and door trims. A basic digital instrument cluster comes standard, and clients can upspec to Audi’s more comprehensive virtual cockpit as well as MMI navigation plus and a 560 watt Bang & Olufsen 3D Premium Sound System.

There is no word on engine options at this stage, but it will likely offer VW’s 1-litre (70kW or 85kW) and 1.5-litre (110kW) turbopetrol engines.

The A1 citycarver is currently under consideration for South Africa.

IOL Motoring