21 December 2011 ~ 2 Comments

Audi unleashes mad, bad 252bhp, 152mph A1 quattro

Yes, we know PoloDriver.com is primarily about the Volkswagen Polo, but today’s new model announcement from Audi was just too mad to pass up. Besides, the A1 is closely related to the Polo. So there. What exactly has Audi unveiled? A 252bhp A1, called the quattro, with the engine from the larger S3, a four-wheel drive chassis, and looks inspired by the A1 Clubsport quattro concept, unveiled in May. Limited to only 333 units, there are doubts as to whether the car will be built with right-hand drive and therefore come to the UK – haggle your Audi retailer if you’d like it to be a rare sight on our green and pleasant lanes. And yes, we would.

Performance of the A1 quattro looks to be explosive. The 0-62mph dash takes 5.7 seconds, and the car romps on to a top speed of 152mph. Maximum torque of 258lb ft is available between 2500-4500rpm, while all 252 horses are unleashed at 6000rpm. Standard transmission will be a six-speed manual gearbox mated to Audi’s famed ‘quattro’ four-wheel drive, specially engineered for the PQ25 Volkswagen Group small car platform. Exclusive ‘Glacier White’ turbine design 8.0 J x 18-inch cast alloy wheels with 225/35 series tyres transfer the power to the road, while black brake calipers grip 312mm diameter discs.

Outrageous looks match the outrageous power. The A1 quattro is only available in Glacier White Metallic with a glass black roof, rear hatch panel, rear spoiler, and front grille frame. Two 100mm chromed exhausts poke out from the restyled gloss black diffuser, while strong red accents in the front and rear lights add further menace. The interior features heavily-bolstered sports seats with black ‘Silk Nappa’ leather with contrasting red stitching, brushed stainless steel pedals, a flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel and individual numbered plaque. Arriving in the second half of 2012, the A1 quattro must have instantly become one of the most-anticpated cars of next year. No prices have yet been released by Audi, but it won’t come cheap. But, now we know that the technology is available, four-wheel drive Polo R anyone?

The full Audi UK press release follows.

Blast off for limited edition 256PS Audi A1 quattro
High performance, high specification all-wheel-drive A1 premium subcompact will be limited to just 333 examples worldwide

  • Exclusive left-hand-drive-only all-wheel-drive A1-based model limited to 333 examples worldwide
  • Powered by 2.0-litre TFSI engine delivering 256PS at 6000rpm and 350Nm of torque between 2500 and 4500rpm, 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds, top speed 152mph, combined mpg 33.2
  • Unique and extensive exterior and interior specification
  • Due in mainland Europe in the second half of 2012 – customer interest will help to determine whether Audi UK begins imports

Sparks are about to fly in the subcompact class as a new limited edition Audi A1 stakes a claim to be the most powerful and fastest accelerating car of its kind ever created. The new ultra-exclusive A1 is not only the first to enter production with quattro all-wheel-drive but is also the first to adopt a larger capacity petrol engine ramping power up to 256PS. Limited to just 333 examples worldwide, it will combine its unprecedented performance and agility with a suitably rarefied equipment list.

The A1 quattro will raise the tempo thanks to a turbocharged and directly injected 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine which delivers its maximum 256PS output at 6,000rpm, and its punchy 350Nm torque peak between 2500 and 4500rpm. It enables the A1 quattro to power from rest to 62mph in 5.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 152mph.

This advanced unit is notable for its adjustable intake cam shaft and its two balancer shafts which ensure smooth operation, but also for its high pressure common rail injection system, intercooled turbocharger and regulated oil pump which help it to operate surprisingly economically and deliver up to 33.2mpg (combined cycle).

Power is channelled via a quick-shifting six-speed manual transmission to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, the heart of which is an electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch whose package of plates rotates in an oil bath. During normal driving, the clutch sends most of the engine’s power to the front wheels. If traction decreases there, the clutch can transfer torque steplessly to the rear axle in just a few milliseconds by forcing the packages of plates together by a defined amount. A pressure reservoir helps the electric pump to develop the oil pressure. 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 sets a higher threshold for intervention, and can be switched off entirely for track use.

The chassis of the Audi A1 quattro has been adapted to suit the dynamics of the drivetrain, and the multi-plate clutch has also been positioned on the rear axle in the interest of optimum weight distribution. The front suspension is a McPherson strut construction, while a four-link set-up is used at the rear. Responsive and efficient electrohydraulic power steering with a direct 14.8:1 steering ratio complements this taut and well balanced configuration.

Unique specification
Finished exclusively in Glacier White metallic, complemented by 18-inch turbine design alloy wheels also in Glacier White and a high-gloss black roof, the A1 quattro will stand out from the outset. It will also distinguish itself visually through an exclusive design for the front and rear bumpers, the grille and its frame, red painted ‘wings’ within the headlights, a large two-colour rear spoiler and two sizeable, 100-millimetre diameter polished exhaust tailpipes. Finishing touches such as tinted LED rear lights, tinted rear windows and a contrasting black colouring for the rear hatch and rear diffuser will also mark out the top-ranking A1, as will quattro badges on the grille, roof arch and rear hatch which bear testament to this car’s unique position as the first ever all-wheel-drive production A1.

At 3987 millimetres in length, the A1 quattro is 33 millimetres longer than the ‘standard’ car on which it is based. It matches its counterparts for width and height, standing at 1740 millimetres and 1416 millimetres respectively. Luggage capacity is 210 litres with seats up rising to 860 litres with seats folded.

Purposeful black dominates the interior of the Audi A1 quattro, 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 pronounced 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-faced speedometer, a quattro logo and a colour Driver’s Information System (DIS). The multifunction sports steering wheel is flat-bottomed, trimmed in leather with contrasting red stitching and sports the car’s serial number. The shift lever knob is made of aluminium, and many control elements have an aluminium-look finish.

Lavish equipment list
As befits its standing at the pinnacle of the A1 range the A1 quattro will be suitably lavishly equipped with many features taken directly from the luxury class. Xenon plus headlights, the high-beam assistant, adaptive brake lights, an LED interior lighting package, light and rain sensors, the acoustic rear parking system, automatic air conditioning, a storage package, the convenience key and cruise control will all feature.

Infotainment kit will also be exceptional, particularly for a car in the subcompact class. It will include a CD changer, DAB digital radio, Audi Music Interface, hard disk-based MMI navigation plus, a 465-watt 14-speaker Bose sound system with illuminated woofers in the doors and Mobile Phone Preparation High with Online Services. This feature enables a Bluetooth-equipped online car phone to connect to the Internet and deliver special web services, including Google Earth, to the car. Passengers can also connect their mobile devices to the integrated Wi-Fi hotspot.

The left-hand-drive only Audi A1 quattro will be available in mainland Europe in the second half of 2012. A final decision on whether or not Audi UK will import the car will be based in part on customer reaction.

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