ONE thing I like about the Germans is they speak in numbers.
Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C 200, Porsche 911, et cetera, et cetera. We all know where we stand.
So why has Audi started naming its cars?
Because if this effort is anything to go by, it is rubbish at it.
Citycarver sounds like a sightseeing boat bobbing up and down on the Thames. Not a posh little Audi.
And just to confuse us a bit more, it is wearing hiking boots.
You know what I mean — raised ride height, plastic cladding, skid plates, beefy matte-black grille.
Surely the city is the last place you need that extra armour?
It just makes an expensive A1 even more expensive.
That said, the Citycarver is my favourite A1, as it has a slightly softer ride.
The extra suspension soaks up the bumps with no loss of steering precision.
There are two petrol engines to choose from — a clever 150hp, 1.5-litre turbo, badged 35 TFSI, which shuts off two cylinders under light load, and a 1-litre three-cylinder turbo, badged 30 TFSI, producing 115hp. I would go for the latter.
It is light, peppy, efficient, sounds great and has enough power for most people. Now, let’s have a poke around inside.
Er . . . it’s exactly the same as any other A1 — or any other Audi, for that matter — which means it’s class.
You are getting executive levels of tech and refinement in a small car — two screens, all sorts of driver assistance, combined with simple air-con dials and a manual handbrake. I like it.
Other things to note. Five-door only. Decent 335-litre boot. LED lights as standard.
Mistakes? There are some low-rent plastics but there are more than enough luxuries here to make you want one. Not least the lure of the four rings on the tiller.
To sum up, then: Nice car, rubbish name. Do us a favour, Audi, and stick to numbers.
KEY FACTS: AUDI A1 CITYCARVER
- Price: £22,695
- Engine: 1-litre 3-cylinder turbo petrol
- Power: 116hp, 200Nm
- 0-62mph: 9.9 secs
- Top speed: 123mph
- Economy: 45mpg
- CO2: 117g/km
- Rivals: Fiesta Active
VAN MAN GEORGE BARROW
NEXT week should have been the country’s biggest truck and van event, the CV Show.
So here is what we are missing . . .
Ford had lined up several big reveals, including a Transit Jumbo – an enormous L5 chassis about the size of a football pitch.
It also had a few modified and macho surprises of Transit and Transit Custom up its sleeve – think big F-O-R-D lettering on the front grille, like the Ranger Raptor . . . but you didn’t hear that from me.
And I do like the name Thunder for a pick-up. Don’t you?
Renault had secretly planned to reveal a new electric van to join the Kangoo ZE and the Master ZE.
Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall, meanwhile, were due to unveil new mid-sized electric vans.
The e-Dispatch, e-Expert and, breaking the naming trend, Vivaro-e will carry more than a ton of stuff and be good for 188 miles, we are told.
LEVC had planned to show the VN5, the plug-in hybrid London taxi done as a van and capable of 80 emission-free miles, with a total range of 370 miles.
The artist formerly known as LDV was due to unveil the Maxus Deliver 9, a large van successor to the LDV V80.
Nissan would have shown the range-topping Navara N-Guard pick-up – as well as an extreme off-roader built by Arctic Trucks, the Navara AT32.
Mitsubishi was bringing along the L200 Series 6, while Toyota was set to show the Proace City.
Even Dacia had booked a stand, presumably to show a new Duster Commercial.
Volkswagen, though, had the right idea all along, with a VR display allowing you to experience a van conversion.
If only it could convert the headset to do virtual tours of the CV No-Show, we could all watch from our living rooms.
Stay home and stay safe.
- George is a juror for International Van Of The Year and What Van? columnist.
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