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by Matt Campbell

An updated version of the Audi A1 will appear within 18 months, according to Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle.

Doyle made the comments at a pre-launch event for the new Audi A3 Sportback e-tron this week, and the images you see here are of the facelifted Audi A1 that was spotted in Europe earlier this year.

“There may be something coming in the next 12 to 18 months,” Doyle said when asked by CarAdvice about a facelift or update for the new model.

The topic was broached when we asked if Doyle was concerned about Mini and its upcoming Mini 5 door hatchback, which will compete directly with the five-door-only A1 hatchback range.

“The Mini is in the same segment, obviously, but it’s a different proposition,” Doyle claimed. “We’re very happy with the sales of A1, this year especially, it’s really doing well.”

Audi A1 facelift 4

Sales of Audi’s smallest model – which shares parts with the Volkswagen Polo – are up more than 20 per cent so far this year, in a segment of the market that has dipped dramatically.

Sales of light cars over $25,000 are down 14.4 per cent to the end of August, with the Mini Cooper/Clubman results sitting 26.9 per cent lower than this time last year. The BMW-owned British brand has just launched an all-new hatchback model, however, and sales are down as a result of a run-out of previous-generation stock and the often-slow reaction introduction of a new model as stock takes time to filter through to showrooms.

Audi has been offering retail incentives to get more sales on the board. The A1 1.4 TFSI S tronic automatic in Attraction specification, for example, usually sells at $29,990 plus costs. But the four-ring brand is doing a complementary styling pack with 16-inch alloys and xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, priced from $29,990 driveaway.

“The packages we’re offering on A1 offer terrific value, so we’re well and truly ready for that [challenge from the new Mini five-door hatch],” Doyle said.

He virtually ruled out any price cut to the current A1 in the process.

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“I think what we do and what Audi has done over the years is always look at adding value wherever we can,” he said. “That’s been proven in A1 and A3 over the years as well. We’re continually looking at what we can offer the marketplace that would offer the best value-for-money proposition to our customers.

“I think [the A1] has found its position within our fleet,” he said.

The brand will add a new flagship S1 hot-hatch to the A1 ranks within weeks, with that model – with its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder packing 170kW and 370Nm, and a six-speed manual gearbox – expected to hit showrooms priced at $49,900.




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