MOTOR’s editor, Ray Leathern, is on the frontlines, bringing you the reveals that matter from this year’s IAA motor show in Frankfurt. Like the oddly-named Audi A1 CityCarver.
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The SUV offensive from Ingolstadt shows no sign of slowing, especially with the introduction of this at IAA 2019 from Audi, an Allroad-style A1 supermini called the CityCarver. On the face of it, it may have a name that makes you think of Sunday roast, but it does make quite a lot of sense in Europe.
Like any Audi, it’s a style-conscious, ever-so-slightly beefed-up offering that relies on bigger wheels (16-inch alloys) to get its point across and stand out from the crowd. But here’s where it’s also clever. Europe is small, and the fact that it doesn’t take up any more square meterage on the road than a regular A1 is of huge benefit.
Then there’s the increased ride height – granted, only 4 cm – but it’ll improve line of sight in those Parisian traffic jams. Between its hexagonal-covered bumpers it’s an economical, reliable Audi A1, don’t forget, which is to say it has all the petrol-powered running gear from a Volkswagen Polo.
Since its introduction in 2010, the A1 has been a strong seller, with Audi shifting nearly 1 million units worldwide. Audi’s smallest car has made massive leaps forward stylistically and mechanically in the intervening eight years.