Audi has revealed a new range-topping 253bhp quattro version of its popular A1 supermini, set to go on sale in limited numbers in the second half of 2012.
The A1 quattro will muscle the 1.4TFSI aside to top the A1 range, bringing with it 253bhp courtesy of the turbocharged, direct injection 2.0-litre petrol engine borrowed from the S3. Filling the A1’s engine bay to capacity, the four-cylinder motor provides 258lb ft of torque and powers the quattro on to a top speed of 152mph – after having cracked the 0-62mph sprint in 5.7 seconds. Combined consumption is claimed to be an S3-equalling 33.2mpg.
In most scenarios, the majority of the A1 quattro’s horsepower will be sent via a six-speed manual to the front wheels; however, when a loss in front-end traction is sensed, a defined amount can be sent rearwards in a matter of milliseconds. Grip is also assisted by an electronic differential lock and, as you would expect, a switchable stability control system. Additionally, much of the weight gained by incorporating the Haldex four-wheel-drive system is placed over the back wheels to aid weight distribution.
Only available in Glacier White metallic, the A1 quattro will also expose its potential by sporting 18-inch turbine design alloy wheels, distinctive bumpers and flared sills, giving the car a look reminiscent of the four-ringed competition cars of the 1980s. Twin chromed tailpipes and the white spoiler sitting atop the high-gloss black roof complete the look at the rear, while a touch of flair is provided by the red ‘wings’ inside the headlamp cluster: a highlight colour which is also repeated inside.
Both the flat-bottomed steering wheel and bolstered sports seats are trimmed in Silk Nappa leather with contrasting red stitching; also used on the doorcards and handbrake gaiter and complementing the red tachometer and switch lighting. Stainless steel pedals and quattro badges also help differentiate the most potent A1 from its lesser-powered stablemates.
Notably though, the aforementioned flat-bottomed steering wheel will always be on the left hand side of the cabin: none of the 333 A1 quattros made will come in right-hand-drive form.
UPDATE - Audi UK has confirmed that 20 examples will be shipped to British shores, although they will all be left-hand-drive models due to the lack of economies of scale involved in such small production numbers.