When the second-generation Audi A1 Sportback was revealed back in June, the Ingolstadt-based automaker naturally showed off the new model in S line specification, complete with sporty body kit and big alloys. But now that Audi has launched its online configurator in Germany, we have our first look at the base-spec version of the A1.

From the outside, the so-called “poverty spec” A1 Sportback is easy to spot. You’ll quickly notice the 15-inch steel wheels (covered by plastic covers and wrapped in high-profile 185/65 rubber), basic halogen headlamps (rather than the LED items on posher derivatives) and the basic black plastic trim up front.

Round back, the lower bumper treatment is quite plain and the roof spoiler far more restrained that of the S line version, while the base model also does without LED tail-lamps. Still, it’s inside that you’ll find what is likely the biggest surprise.

In Germany, this entry-level Audi – with its seats trimmed in fabric and no leather for its steering wheel – seemingly does without a radio. Take a look at the accompanying image of the cabin and you’ll see a black plastic covering in the centre of the facia where an infotainment screen would normally live (plus, a similar treatment for the areas that would usually house door speakers).

The price for this basic model in Germany? Well, with the cheapest paint (and an 85 kW three-cylinder unit mated to a six-speed manual) specified, the five-door A1 starts at €21 150 (that’s a little over R380 000 at the current exchange rate). Of course, we’re highly unlikely to see such a bare-bones model when the A1 makes its way to South Africa…