At this year’s Wörtherseetour event in Austria (1st-4th June), the holy grail of car shows for Audi, VW, Seat and Skoda fans, Audi will unveil a highly modified A1 to show off what their entry level model is capable of – if you happen to have some of the world’s best automotive engineers and designers lounging around in your garage.
The Audi A1 clubsport quattro (yes, no capitals for “clubsport” or “quattro”) isn’t just a standard A1 with a fancy bodykit either. It’s been fitted with the same 2.5 litre, 5-cylinder, turbocharged engine normally reserved for the Audi TT RS and RS3 Sportback. However in the A1 clubsport quattro concept the engine’s potency has been increased dramatically to 503 horsepower and 487 lb-ft (660 Nm) of torque.
The engineers managed to squeeze the extra grunt out of the engine due to a redesigned turbocharger, intercooler, intake system and exhaust. As on the Audi’s A4 DTM race car, the exhaust now exits on the just ahead of the left-side rear wheel.
The Audi A1 clubsport quattro’s transmission is a six-speed manual, and that’s (obviously) hooked up to a quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. Both come courtesy of the TT RS.
As you’d expect, the performance figures for the A1 clubsport quattro are on a par with some of the most expensive exotica from around the world. It takes just 3.7 seconds to reach 62 mph (100 km/h). To get to 124 mph takes a mere 10.9 seconds. And while the top speed is electronically capped at 155mph, removal of those pesky wires would surely result in a considerably higher terminal velocity.
The exterior styling of the A1 clubsport quattro is defined by the World Rally Car look. The 19-inch wheels have the same multi-spoke turbine design of many rally cars from the past and present. While the gaping front grille looks like its built for purpose as much as styling. At the rear the prominent rear wing should keep the back end firmly planted, especially when it’s coupled with the air-flow management of the rear diffuser.
The car has also been widened by up to 60mm (2.36 inches). The front and rear wheel arches, as well as the door panels have all been subjected to serious work in order to bring them out far enough to cover the massive wheels.
Designed as a road vehicle for the race track, the Audi A1 clubsport quattro concept has no rear seat. Instead there is a large crossmember designed to stiffen up the chassis. Behind each front seat is a dedicated area for holding and securing helmets. Audi have gone all-out with the interior, and to make it even more focused for track use, they’ve decided to throw away all the entertainment gadgets. In their place are three additional gauges; for oil pressure, boost pressure and voltage. The bucket seats are the same as those found in the R8 GT, and their lightweight construction comes courtesy of lots and lots of carbon fiber.
Clearly Audi have no intention of turning the A1 clubsport quattro from a one-off show car into something you can pop down to your local Audi dealer and drive away in. However, with the Audi S1 just months away, it’s conceivable that some of the minor styling elements of the A1 clubsport quattro could be offered as either optional extras, or as official aftermarket performance parts.