Audi will build a four-wheel drive version of its A1 supermini, complete with a 252bhp turbocharged engine named as A1 quattro.
It is turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder direct-injection gasoline TFSI engine used in the S3 it produces 252 hp at 6,000 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque from 2,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. That’s an increase of 70 hp and 74 lb-ft on the most powerful of the German carmaker’s existing A1 models, the 1.4 TFSI. And it is channeled through a standard six-speed manual gearbox and a Haldex-style multiplate-clutch all-wheel-drive system that Audi has engineered for the A1’s PQ25 platform.
The car rolls on 18-inch center-lock white painted wheels shod with 225/35 tires at each corner. Also included is an electronically controlled differential lock that automatically applies brake pressure to spinning wheels to improve traction.
To be produced in a limited run of just 333 cars, the A1 quattro has aggressive, competition-based styling, a turbocharged engine and the latest in all-wheel-drive technology, together with a heavily reworked interior the A1 quattro will match the S3 in the sprint from 0 to 62 mph with a time of 5.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 152 mph, making it 1.2 seconds and 11 mph faster than the front-wheel-drive A1 1.4 TFSI
A1 quattro leads with upgraded brakes with larger discs and black calipers. Audi also reprogrammed the ESP stability-control system.
The quattro is distinguished from lesser A1 three-door hatchback models by a series of styling changes that combine with a lowered suspension to give it an arresting, competition-car appearance. Up front, there’s a deep bumper, enlarged air ducts and a large black-framed grille. Audi’s design department also added widened sills underneath the doors to add greater visual aggression.But it is at the rear where the most significant changes have taken place. Among them is a prominent spoiler mounted above the rear hatch and designed to provide added downforce at high speeds for greater stability.
There also is a deeper rear bumper with a prominent valance panel and twin chromed exhausts measuring 3.9 inches in diameter. A contrasting white-and-black paint scheme sets it all off.
Inside is an upgraded interior with heavily bolstered sport seats, a flat-bottom, multifunction steering wheel and stylish door trims–all decked out in black leather with red stitching. Also included are reworked instruments, aluminum pedals and an aluminum-topped gear lever. The rear bench seats are retained, providing seating for up to four adults. However, the need to accommodate the all-wheel-drive components reduced trunk space by 2.1 cubic feet, to 7.4 cubic feet.
Work on the Haldex-style system, which uses electronic sensors to operate a hydraulically operated clutch, began in early 2010–some six months before front-wheel-drive versions of the A1 went on sale. Original plans were for an A1 1.4 TFSI quattro model. It was meant to lay the ground for an even hotter S1 model, running a powered-up version of Audi’s 1.8-liter TFSI engine. However, Audi now says the all-wheel-drive hardware will remain exclusive to the A1 quattro, suggesting that plans for both the A1 1.4 TFSI and the S1 have been shelved.
Audi says the first customer deliveries of the A1 quattro will begin during the second half of 2012. Although pricing has yet to be announced, the new car will offer a high level of equipment, including xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights, air conditioning, cruise control, rain sensor, automatically dimming mirrors, keyless entry and park sensors.