A complete driving machine:
The Audi A1 quattro
- Limited-edition (333 units), high-performance athlete
- 256 bhp, quattro drive, 0 – 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds
- Top model goes from concept to ready for volume production in just 17 months
Audi is crowning its successful A1 model series with an exclusive top-of-the-line model. The dynamic A1 quattro, limited to just 333 units, moves to the head of the compact class. Its two-litre, turbocharged engine produces 188 kW (256 hp) and 350 Nm of torque, which thanks to quattro permanent all-wheel drive provide for excellent propulsion in any conditions. The Audi A1 quattro sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds and has a top speed of 245 km/h. The first deliveries to customers are expected mid-year. In Germany, the fully-equipped Audi A1 quattro will sell for €49,900.
Engine and transmission: Compact powerplant
The 2.0 TFSI engine in the A1 quattro is taken directly from the high-performance Audi TTS sports car: a 1,984 cc, four-cylinder engine that combines petrol direct injection with turbocharging in the classic Audi manner. Among its highlights are the adjustable intake cam shaft and the two balance shafts, which ensure smooth operation. Maximum torque of 350 Nm is continuously available between 2,500 and 4,500 rpm, and peak power (188 kW/256 bhp) is developed at 6,000 rpm.
Every detail of the sporty, sonorous four-cylinder engine has been optimized for high performance and low fuel consumption. Common rail injection, a turbocharger with intercooler and a regulated oil pump are just a few examples. The Audi A1 quattro is expected to consume on average less than 8.5 litres of fuel per 100 km. Yet it performs like a top-class sports car: The standard sprint takes just 5.7 seconds, and top speed is 245 km/h.
The 2.0 TFSI delivers its power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system via a precisely shifting six-speed transmission, bringing Vorsprung durch Technik to the small-car class. The heart of this system 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. Additionally, the electronic differential limited slip differential with torque vectoring at both axles produces precisely calculated braking forces for the inside wheels. The result is maximum agility together with ultimate accuracy.
Rear axle from the Audi TTS
The placement of the multi-plate clutch at the rear axle provides for a harmonious distribution of the axle loads, and the chassis of the Audi A1 quattro has been adapted to the dynamics of the drivetrain. The suspension is much more tautly tuned than that of the production model. The front suspension is a McPherson construction. The sensitive and efficient electrohydraulic power steering has a sporty, direct 14.8:1 steering ratio.
The front-wheel drive Audi A1 has a torsion beam rear suspension, which enables the A1 to track accurately and turn willingly into corners even when driven hard. The A1 quattro, in contrast, features a four-link independent suspension at the back that, with the exception of a somewhat narrower track, is identical to that in the Audi TTS.
The transplantation of the rear axle and the new engine, plus fitting in all the components of the all-wheel drive system required a tremendous design effort on the part of the developers. More than 600 completely new or fundamentally modified components in the Audi A1 quattro differ from their counterparts in the front-wheel drive models. Despite all this, the entire development process for the project took just 17 months from start to finish.
The work didn’t end with the definition of new mounting points for the powered rear axle. The spare wheel well in the front-wheel drive A1 made way for the rear differential. The completely redesigned back end also includes an independent mount for the springs and dampers. The longitudinal members have been reinforced here, for example.
The modified space requirements due to the longitudinal cardan shaft in the centre of the vehicle also meant that the standard fuel tank had to be replaced. The A1 quattro uses a proprietary “cusped tank” with a flat bottom and a notch in the top centre section. Thanks to its clever use of space, it holds 45 litres – the exact same volume as its counterpart in front-wheel drive models.
The Audi A1 quattro rolls on 8.0 J x 18 cast alloy wheels. They are Glacier White, feature an exclusive turbine design and are fitted with 225/35-series tyres. The internally vented front brake discs measure 312 millimetres in diameter and are gripped by black callipers. The ESP stabilization program includes a sport mode and can be switched off entirely for a trip to the race track, for example. The electronic differential remains active, however, and continues to enhance agility and precision even under extreme driving conditions.
Exclusivity and a full range of equipment – standard
One look is all it takes to see that the Audi A1 quattro is a very special vehicle. It is available only in Glacier White metallic, and its roof line is painted high-gloss black. The front bumper is muscular, the frame and grate of the single-frame grille are high-gloss black. The curved bars in the headlights – the wings – are red. The grille, the roof arch and the rear hatch sport quattro badges.
The rear windows are tinted; the roof flows into a large, two-colour wing. The colour black accentuates the rear hatch and the diffuser. The LED rear lights are tinted; the rear bumper sports a distinctive look. The exhaust system terminates in polished dual tailpipes on the left and the right, each measuring 100 millimetres in diameter.
The A1 quattro is 3,987 millimetres long, 1,740 millimetres wide and 1,416 millimetres tall, making it somewhat longer than the model on which it is based. Luggage capacity is 210 litres; folding down the rear seats increases this to 860 litres.
Cool, sporty black dominates the interior of the Audi A1 quattro. The seats and the arm rests on the doors are covered in Silk Nappa leather with contrasting red seams. The S sport seats up front have pronounced bolsters, integrated head restraints and a quattro badge on the backrest covers. The seats feature multi-way adjustment. The lower section of the centre console shines in high-gloss black; the footrest and the pedal caps are made of brushed stainless steel. Red seams frame the floor mats, and the door sill trims bear A1 quattro badges.
The instrument cluster has a number of eye-catching features, including white needles, a red tachometer, the quattro log and the colour display for the driver information system. The multifunction sport steering wheel is flattened at the bottom, wrapped in leather with contrasting red stitching and sports the car’s serial number. The shift lever knob is made of aluminium. Many control elements have an aluminium-look finish.
The Audi A1 quattro will be available exclusively as a three-door model with left-hand drive and will come with a full range of equipment. It includes many features taken directly from the luxury class, including xenon plus headlights, high-beam assistant, adaptive brake lights, LED interior lighting package, light and rain sensor, automatically dimming interior mirror, rear parking system, automatic air conditioning, alarm system, storage package, convenience key and cruise control.
The infotainment equipment likewise leaves nothing to be desired. It comprises a CD changer, a digital radio tuner, the Audi music interface and MMI navigation plus. The Bose sound system drives 14 speakers with 465 watts of power; the woofers in the doors are indirectly lit with light guide LEDs. Audi connect uses the Bluetooth 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 WLAN hotspot.
Like the Audi R8 GT, the limited-production Audi A1 quattro is limited to 333 units worldwide, with deliveries to customers scheduled to begin in mid-2012. The price in Germany is €49,900. The largest markets for the top-of-the-line A1 are located in central and southern Europe.