Importable or Impotable? Audi Debuts A1 Citycarver for Slick Urban Youths

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
importable or impotable audi debuts a1 citycarver for slick urban youths

Padding out its crossover lineup and going downmarket, like every other premium automaker, Audi presented us with a new model this week — the A1 Citycarver. Based upon the A1 Sportback, the Citycarver is lifted two-inches to provide additional clearance for potholes, urban debris, and the occasional instance of curb hopping. The ride hight also helps the brand’s A1 line take advantage of the severe case of crossover crazies that has swept through the global market.

Good on Audi for downplaying the adventure/lifestyle marketing and calling the Citycarver what it is — a small urban runabout with the ability to leave town. Bonus points for allowing it to maintain its foundation’s above-average looks.

That said, the marketing team couldn’t help itself entirely. The vehicle’s release is still tinged with mentions of the exterior’s “robust, off-road look,” despite it being nearly identical to the Sportback. But Audi knows it’s marketing to young, urban types and went so far as to put that in the headline of its press release.

And the city will be where this car shines the brightest. At just a hair under 160 inches in length, the higher-riding A1 is a smidgen shorter than the Ford Fiesta. One of its greatest selling points will obviously be saving people the trouble of having to circle the block for the tenth time, as they hunt for an appropriately sized parking space inside the overly congested hellscape they call home.

Noteworthy changes from the more-traditional A1 models include larger wheels (both optional and standard), visual tweaks to make it look more like Audi’s Q vehicles, an S line roof edge spoiler, and an optional dynamic suspension package (which adds a dynamic handling system, upgraded audio gear, adjustable dampers, and chucks on red calipers for style). The rest of Audi’s ink was spent discussing the merits of the 10.1-inch infotainment system — namely its ability to tell you where to find parking.

Powertrain details were a no-show. But, since it’s basically an A1 Sportback, one might expect it to come equipped with the same 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged three-cylinder motor and front-wheel drive. While that 40 TFSI is likely too small for most American tastes, it does produce a very adequate 200 hp. The only other possible candidate for export would be the 1.5-liter 35 TFSI. The rest of the A1’s engine options are best left in Europe due to their size… or lack thereof.

Unfortunately, they all might stay there, as Audi has only mentioned availability in its home market (starting this fall). However, if the company did decide to export a small vehicle to North America, this would definitely be the one. While this author would rather have the standard A1 Sportback, crossovers remain ludicrously popular here and this isn’t a bad-looking compromise. The U.S. might swing toward larger automobiles than Europe but we could see the Citycarver making a name for itself along more North America’s more populated coastal regions.

What say you, Best and Brightest?

[Images: Audi]

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2 of 28 comments
  • Darex Darex on Jul 30, 2019

    If they didn't bring the Q2 over, which is baffling and stupid, I don't see them ever bringing this over.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Jul 30, 2019

    3/8 Rav4 up front with the "aggressive" something something and a VW UP! at the back. I dare say this is an Audi non-SUV that I'm not a fan of; not that I'd choose to try and afford one anyway. Where are these youths being targeted supposed to get the money to plunk down? Selling hookers and blow?

  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.