The next-generation Audi A1 has been spied during development testing, giving us an early glimpse at the German marque's upcoming light hatch.

Despite the heavy camouflage, it's pretty clear that the A1's shape will be an evolution of the current car, not a revolution - much like the rest of Audi's latest designs.

Trainspotters will notice fresh interpretations of Audi's front grill and headlight designs, both of which are more angular and aggressive than the current model.

Out the back is a similar story, with a familiar tail-light design and sportback tailgate. It's likely the A1 will grow a decent amount in most dimensions, much like its mainstream Volkswagen Polo relative.

There are no images of the interior just yet, but you can expect the A1 to follow in the footsteps of its Q2 sibling with a minimalistic approach to physical buttons and dials, while also getting the commonly-used 'floating' infotainment display.

In fact, don't be surprised if the interior aesthetic looks almost identical to its crossover counterpart.

Riding on a version of the Volkswagen Group's MQB A0 platform, the A1 will almost certainly feature a range of turbocharged three- and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

Expect capacities ranging from 1.0- to 1.8-litres, along with manual and dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

It's likely the new A1 will be big on tech, too. The littlest Audi should be offered with all of the company's latest driver assistance and infotainment systems like autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, and the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster - all of which are notable exclusions from the ageing current model.

Finally, it's a logical assumption to expect performance versions of the new A1 – likely in the form of an S1/RS1 flagship – though neither have been confirmed.

Reports suggest only the five-door Sportback body style will be offered in the new generation, due to slow sales of the three-door model.

In terms of timing, Audi confirmed the new A1 would surface in 2017, so expect a reveal by year's end. Stay tuned for an update.

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