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The next-generation 2018 Audi A1 will push even further upmarket when it launches in a couple years time, according to a new report out of the UK.

According to Auto Express, the new A1 will arrive sometime in 2018, riding on the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB platform, which also underpins the upcoming Q2 SUV and next-generation Volkswagen Polo.

The new architecture will allow the A1’s wheelbase to grow around 90mm (to 2560mm) over the current car, while cargo capacity should rise slightly to around 300 litres.

Design wise, the next-generation hatch will wear an evolutionary design, much like its recently-launched A4, Q7, R8 and TT stablemates, which all feature sharper lines over their predecessors.

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A version of the company’s hexagonal grille will don the A1’s face, flanked by sharper headlights with a new LED daytime-running light signature.

At the rear, it’s believed the new A1 will draw inspiration from the recently-updated A3 hatchback. The company’s ‘dynamic’ scrolling indicators are likely to be offered as an option across the range.

Inside, the new A1 will receive the company’s latest technology and infotainment systems, including the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit driver information system along with the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The A1’s MMI infotainment system may also offer a WiFi hotspot option to better compete with its arch-rival, the Mini.

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In terms of powertrain options, the new MQB platform will bring a new range of engines, including a reworked version of the current 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol, along with the Volkswagen Group’s new ‘EA211’ 1.5-litre TSI four-cylinder turbo petrol – which is set to replace the current 1.4-litre unit used in the Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia and Audi A3.

Auto Express also reported an e-tron plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant could be on the cards, though such a model would push the A1’s price tag well into premium territory.

The company revealed an A1 e-tron concept at the 2010 Geneva motor show, which combined a 254cc rotary engine – acting as a range extender – with a 74kW electric motor, which claimed a range of around 116 kilometres.

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Above: 2013 Audi A1 e-tron concept

A more powerful version debuted in 2013, with a 85kW/300Nm electric motor (up 10kW/60Nm), claiming a range of around 200 kilometres and charge time of roughly three hours.

No details about a new S1 or RS1 have been mentioned, though Auto Express speculates an extreme hot-hatch version of the current A1 could debut at the tail-end of the current generation’s production run ahead of the new model’s introduction in 2018.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more Audi A1 updates in the coming months.

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