Audi have just revealed the most potent variant of the new A1 supermini, and while it’s not badged an S1, it may as well be. The Audi A1 quattro will be sold in incredibly limited numbers, just 333 worldwide. And while the price is yet to be announced, it’s sure to be significantly more than even the highest-spec standard A1.
All 333 A1 quattros will be left-hand-drive, and all will be fitted with a 2.0 litre, turbocharged and intercooled, four-cylinder engine which produces an impressive 252 horsepower, and 258 ft-lbs (350 Nm) of torque. Zero-to-sixty takes the A1 quattro just 5.7 seconds, and the top speed is 152 mph. The transmission is a six-speed manual, which in turn channels the power to all four wheels via one of Audi’s trademark quattro AWD systems.
The A1 Quattro’s all-wheel-drive system is centered around an electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch. During normal driving conditions, the clutch sends most of the power to the front wheels. If the front wheels start to loose traction, the clutch seamlessly diverts some of the power to the rear axle in just a few milliseconds. If a wheel on one of the axles starts to skid, it is braked by the electronic differential lock (EDL). The electronic stability program (ESP) also includes a sport mode which allows for a bit more slippage before it kick in, and it can be switched off completely for track use.
Of course such a powerful drivetrain can’t just be stuffed into a standard A1 chassis while the engineers hope for the best. So the A1 quattro has been thoroughly re-engineered to account for the AWD layout, and also the significant increase in power. The multi-plate clutch has been positioned on the rear axle for better weight distribution. The front suspension uses McPherson struts, while a four-link set-up is used at the rear.
The exterior of the Audi A1 quattro has been adorned with a number of upgrades designed to make the car stand out. The front and rear bumpers are new, as are the grille and headlights. At the rear the car gets a large roof-mounted spoiler, black-painted panel between the taillights, and large diameter twin exhausts. The 18-inch turbine-style wheels are reminiscent of those used on the legendary Audi Quattro rally cars.
If you don’t like the A1 quattro in white then you’re out of luck, as that’s the only color it comes in.
On the inside, the Audi A1 quattro features a lot of black; From the high gloss finish for the lower section of the centre console to the seats and door armrests finished in black Silk Nappa leather with contrasting red stitching. The multi-adjustable front S sport seats have large side bolsters, integrated head restraints and quattro insignias on their backrests. The footrest and the pedal caps are made of brushed stainless steel. Red stitching frames the floor mats, and the door sill trims bear A1 quattro badges.
The instrument cluster incorporates a number of eye-catching features, including white needles, a red tachometer, a quattro logo and a color Driver’s Information System (DIS). The multifunction sports steering wheel is flat-bottomed, trimmed in leather with contrasting red stitching, and features the car’s serial number.
All-in-all, if you like your Audis small and very fast, today is a good day for you.