Sparks fly over Audi A1 Quattro limited editionBy Chris Walsh
January 05, 2012
Sparks are about to fly in the subcompact class as a limited edition Audi A1 stakes a claim to be the most powerful and fastest accelerating car of its kind ever created. The new 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 260bhp. Limited to just 333 examples worldwide, it will combine its unprecedented performance and agility with a suitably rarefied equipment list.
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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 output at 6,000rpm and its 350Nm of torque between 2,500 and 4,500rpm. This enables the A1 quattro to power from rest to 62mph in a blistering 5.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 152mph.
Power is channelled via a quick shifting, six-speed manual transmission to the permanent all-wheel drive system, the heart of which is an electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch. During normal driving, the clutch sends most of the engine’s power to the front wheels. If traction decreases there, the clutch can seamlessly transfer torque to the rear axle in just a few milliseconds.
The engine is notable for its adjustable intake camshaft 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 on a combined cycle.
Finished exclusively in Glacier White metallic, 18-inch Glacier White ‘turbine’ design alloy wheels and a high-gloss black roof, the A1 quattro will stand out from the outset. It will also distinguish itself visually through a host of individually styled features.
Finishing touches such as tinted LED rear lights, red painted ‘wings’ within the headlights, a large two-colour rear spoiler and two sizeable, 100-millimetre diameter polished exhaust tailpipes will 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.
As befits its standing as the pinnacle of the A1 range, the A1 quattro will be suitably lavishly equipped with many features taken directly from the more luxurious end of the Audi range. Xenon headlights, high beam assist, adaptive brake lights, LED interior lighting, light and rain sensors, acoustic rear parking system, automatic air conditioning, a convenience key and cruise control will all feature.
But what I have neglected to tell you up until now is that 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. So get emailing.