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Audi A1 and A8: Audi-internal luxury comparison

Reinhard Schmid
Audi A1 and A8
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E Actually it shouldn't be anything with the Audi A1 and me . I don't fit into his prey scheme. The tireless studies of the manufacturer have identified three groups as an audience for the small car. First: '25 to 29 year olds, mostly male career starters.' I don't belong to them, I'm a bit older, have been working for a long time and am not only mostly male.

That's why I'm not allowed in group two: '30- to 40-year-old, upwardly mobile women, well educated, who are interested in fashion' (where: find a lady of this age who is interested in keeps uneducated and not interested in clothes). Group three are 'households that already own one or two cars'. No, I'm not that kind of household either.

Audi A1 with elements from Audi's flagship A8

Why the peer pressure anyway? The Audi A1 is a car that democratizes the premium claim by taking it into the small car class. An Audi for everyone who doesn't associate luxury with the sheer stature of their car, but with advanced technology, high quality and comfort. The Audi A1 offers more than is usual in its class and even adopts elements from Audi's flagship Audi A8. The navigation system plus (2,650 euros) only differs in small details from the version in the A8, for example it dispenses with the alternative destination input via the touch-sensitive input field. You can scribble place names on it in the Audi A8 with your finger. The rest of the operating logic is the same, however, and at the same time, with the Audi A8, the Audi A1 will also be expanding the system with Google Earth navigation from autumn.

No all-wheel drive for Audi's new small car

Then the little Audi carries the big, wide world within itself - and already its sound.
Because the Bose sound system in the Audi A1 for 695 euros hardly lags behind that in the Audi A8: both 14 loudspeakers and subwoofers are perfectly matched to the interior. In view of other upper-class extras such as keyless entry or high-beam assistant, the bi-xenon light on the Audi A1 looks almost ordinary, but can be supplemented with LED taillights. The Audi A8 has bi-xenon as standard, and optionally uses LED technology (1,800 euros) for the headlights with motorway and all-weather lights.

Of course there are more extras reserved for the large sedan: As First Audi since the A2, the A1 doesn't even get all-wheel drive for a surcharge. OneThere is no night vision device, just like Presafe, cruise control, air suspension or rear seat entertainment. In the narrow rear of the Audi A1, adults don't need a spectacle anyway. They are busy developing a strategy that will never come of it again.

The Audi A1 cannot compete with the A8 when it comes to driving comfort

The tight dimensions of the Audi A1 are turning quickly for the benefit. The Audi A8 plows comparatively bulky through rush hour, makes narrow parking garages even narrower, shows its size on country roads and a less feedback-intensive steering, only feels really comfortable when driving further on the motorway in a hurry. The Audi A1 scurries through the city, scoops into small parking spaces and, with its tight suspension setup and direct steering, turns around bends so agile that the Mini can be scared. Suspension comfort? Well, it's not a sedan.

The Audi A1 cannot compete with the fluff of the Audi A8. And also not with the authority of the 372 hp 4.2-liter V8. Whereby: The turbo direct-injection gasoline engine of the A1 may only have half as many cylinders, only around a third in volume and power, but the cultivated, lively 1.400er works with great fervor and, apart from small jerks, cooperates hardly less harmoniously with the seven-speed dual clutch box than the Audi A8 with its eight-speed automatic.

Audi A1 inspires longer

But while the Audi A8 driver can certainly imagine traveling in the rear is even more enjoyable than behind the steering wheel, because you get used to the whole perfection and one autobahn at 200 km /h is like the other, the Audi A1 inspires longer. Because there are still passes, country roads or at least parking towers around the corner that have not yet been conquered. Audi A1 is fun, Audi A8 is status.
So let's not envy people in luxury cars too much. Real luxury may lie in being able to afford not to afford a luxury sedan.


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