The new Audi A1 has been causing quite a stir since its debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, and now Audi's smallest model has picked up the coveted What Car? Car of the Year 2011 award. It was a fantastic night for Audi's premium subcompact hatchback, which also took home the Best Supermini gong.
Steve Fowler, Editor-in-Chief of What Car? commented: "The Audi A1 is a brilliant car: brilliantly targeted and brilliantly executed. More and more buyers are looking for smaller, more efficient cars, but with all the luxury trappings of much larger cars. That's exactly what Audi has given them - a super-stylish, high quality small car that's affordable and great fun, too."
The A1, which is described by Audi as a 'big idea condensed', was voted as the Most Exciting Car of 2010 at last year's awards. Jeremy Hicks, Director of Audi said the combination of exceptional build quality, premium finishes, affordable running costs and class-leading value retention are what make the Audi A1 so sought after.
With prices starting from just £13,420 the Audi A1 is more expensive than its supermini rivals, if you think the Citroen C3 starts from £10,790 and the Fiat 500 has a price tag starting from £9,665. But there is no equal currently in the luxury car market, although BMW are planning a front wheel drive supermini that will be the smallest in its range. BMW's Audi A1 rival is set to be produced in 2015.
For now the A1 is hogging the limelight. The UK's national launch of the A1 on November 13th was a star studded event. The Audi A1 Drive Away saw celebrity drivers and guests take an en-masse test drive of the new city friendly A1 from London's Battersea Power Station.
Audi are still Europe's best selling premium brand, with 2010 proving the best year so far for the brand in terms of sales. The exclusive A7 Sportback was released in October and the new Audi TT, which took the top spot in the Coupe category for the fifth year running, has benefited from a number of enhancements for 2011. The What Car? panel were impressed by the TTs handling and improved performance.