Audi Shows A1 quattro ‘Development’ Car in Montreal

While the world’s motoring press was junketing at the Detroit motor show, Audi held a parallel event some 600 miles away north-east, making use of snowy Montreal weather at its ‘Fascination of quattro’ event.

A surprise was the debut of the A1 with quattro 4wd. The small car, described as a “one-off development”, carries the Ingolstadt company’s regular quattro system, whereby additional traction can be gained in an instant via an electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated, multi-plate clutch (located in front of the rear axle), should slippery conditions prevail.

The normally front-wheel-drive A1 was launched to great fanfare by Audi at the 2010 Geneva show.

In the ‘small bijoux’ segment, Audi will be alone in offering four-wheel drive – a big selling point in its core markets of central and northern Europe. Arch-competitor BMW, via MINI, only offers 4x4 traction in the larger-model Countryman.

Audi has also released a video titled ‘Fascination quattro’ (the ‘of’, like the capital ‘Q’ , deemed just not cool enough), shot in sunnier climes to showcase its past, present and future all-wheel-drive machinery. It includes the recently announced RS3 which was also present in Montreal, and brief drives in the A3-based hot-hatch had normally hard-to-please journalists raving about its performance.

Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos, Video: Audi

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