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Sporty little Audi A1 is well up to scratch

Last week I became a statistic - a crime statistic.

I've joined the mile-long queue of victims and there is a range of emotions flowing through me as I write this.

Firstly, absolute rage, which over time turned to anger and now is just a sickness in the pit of my stomach.

You see, this was no ordinary car crime. No. It was the worst of all car crime - the random act of cowardly vandalism.

This heinous deed, carried out by an individual with the morals of a sewer rat, is beyond comprehension.

And what makes it even harder to swallow is it happened in the new Audi A1.

A thing of automotive beauty, unblemished until left in my charge.

Wracked with guilt, all I can do is apologise for all eternity. That hefty scratch along the door and footwell will stay with me for life as will the days of motoring nirvana before that fateful day.

Billed as the 'next big thing for Audi', this little dynamo will literally blow your socks off with a heady mix of handling and power.

Technology

It's the ultimate city car for the ultimate city slicker. The compact, sporty look, which can be altered to suit taste or need is sure to appeal to young professionals, especially women.

Colour coded exteriors (including alloy wheels matching the roof arch) as well as snazzy interior work really well and makes it stand out from the crowd.

But it's inside where the fashionistas will be truly smitten. Luxury two-tone bucket seats awaits the dinkiest of derrieres while a sporty dash is both functional and heaving with technology.

Take the optional Concert radio system (€576) complete with fold-out 6.5inch colour screen which allows the driver to access all the car's settings including hands-free phone, radio, CD, MP3 and SDHC memory card reader.

The 1.6 litre 105bhp diesel powerplant, although a little throaty for some, is nippy, responsive and above all frugal.

It is returning a class-beating 60 plus mpg while keeping emissions down to an astounding 103g/km.

This translates into road tax of just €104 per annum - a lotta bang for your buck. A serious bit of competition for the Mini range, but be careful of the Audi extras list.

The A1 range starts at €18,995, but for the sport model shown, it'll cost an extra €9,000.