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Blast off for limited edition 256PS Audi A1 quattro

21st December 2011 Print
Audi A1 quattro

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 2,500 and 4,500rpm. 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 3,987 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 1,740 millimetres and 1,416 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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