The original Audi A1, unveiled back in 2010, opened a new door for Ingolstadt to the itty-bitty supermini segment – somewhere its other rivals from Stuttgart and Munich have yet to dare tread. Now, eight years later, there’s a new one, available only in the five-door Sportback bodystyle.

It’s certainly a pretty funky looker, isn’t it? The aggressive front end is dominated by the broad “singleframe” grille and the massive “implied” (i.e. fake) air intakes flanking it, and you can also specify full-LED headlights with hydrofoil-inspired arrow-shaped daytime running lights for even more of a furrowed brow look. The three slits above the grille are a nod to the Sport Quattro homologation special.

The optional contrast-colour roof has been retained, but the C-pillars are now body-coloured and are wide and heavily-raked – another homage to the Sport Quattro. The strong haunches and the upwards-sloping shoulder and sill lines give the bodyside extra muscle and a bolder stance, while the graphics of the tail lights behind the three-dimensional lenses mirror those at the front.

Eleven paint options are available, along with contrasting wing mirror caps, front air inlet inserts and side sills to match the roof. You can also opt for the S line trim level that adds even larger air intakes, a wider slit above the grille, side skirts and a rear spoiler. Wheel options measure between 15 and 18 inches in diameter.

The sporty, angular design is carried over to the interior, which features a centre console angled towards the driver. A pair of air vents flank the standard 10.25-inch digital instrument display (a larger 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit is available as an option), while another pair sit right in front of the passenger.

Depending on the trim level, there are a number of customisation options to choose from, including colour-coordinated accents on air vents, center console and the door handle recesses. You can also add an optional contour and ambient lighting package with 30 selectable colours.

In the centre sits the infotainment system, which in base form is a simple MMI radio operated via the instrument display and the steering wheel controls. As an option there’s the MMI radio plus with an 8.8-inch touchscreen and handwriting input as on the A8, while the range-topping MMI navigation plus gains a 10.1-inch display and features such as hybrid route guidance that draws from the cloud as well as Audi connect.

Other options include the connectivity package that adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and an extra USB-C port, along with the Audi phone box with Qi wireless smartphone charging and the ability to use the car’s antenna for signal reception.

There’s also optional DAB digital radio and a hybrid radio function that switches between terrestrial and online radio when reception is poor. As for audio, buyers can specify from two optional sound systems, including an eight-speaker, 180-watt Audi sound system and an 11-speaker, 560-watt Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with a “3D effect” function.

Measuring 4.03 metres long, 1.74 metres wide and 1.41 metres tall, the new A1 is around eight centimetres longer and 10 mm lower than the outgoing Sportback model. Audi says that with this, comfort has been increased for all occupants while the boot is now 65 litres larger at 335 litres – expandable to 1,090 litres with the rear seats folded. There are two seat versions available, with the sports seat fitted as standard.

There will only be petrol engines at launch, with three turbo units including a 1.0 litre three-cylinder and a 1.5 and 2.0 litre four-pot, all fitted with particulate filters. Outputs range from 95 hp to 200 hp, and all but the top 40 TFSI variant (that’s the one with 200 hp) get a choice of either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed S tronic dry dual-clutch transmission. The 40 TFSI is only available with a six-speed wet-clutch DCT.

Under the skin, the new A1 moves onto Volkswagen’s modular MQB platform, sharing the A0 variant with the latest VW Polo and Seat Ibiza. It’s only available with front-wheel drive for now and is suspended using MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear, with options including a sport suspension, adaptive damping, Audi drive select and larger brake discs with red brake callipers.

Safety-wise, pre sense front autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning are standard, and the options list also includes pre sense basic, adaptive cruise control with stop and go and hill start assist. For the first time, a reverse camera is offered as part of parking system plus that also adds front parking sensors, while park assist that can now manoeuvre into perpendicular spaces nose-in is also available.

For a limited time from launch, Audi is offering a Edition model that throws in 18-inch alloys finished in either bronze white or black, tinted LED head- and tail lights and blacked-out Audi rings and model badging.