While some automotive cultures define performance by the amount of cylinders or even through outrageous horsepower, an astute group of car fanatics realize a true sports car as a well-rounded creation. Weight, handling and usable engine power cemented into perfect form has the ability to cultivate a four-wheeled legend. The original Mini Cooper or even the Porsche 911 has proven formidable matches to much more powerful cars in some motorsport arenas. Best exercised by Japan and European brands, engineers have a knack for realizing performance potential from otherwise vanilla economy cars.
A popular upscale compact car, the Audi A1 has been an important part in appealing to European buyers including the ones found in the auto brand’s German homeland. Filling a small vehicle niche the German luxury car company had not occupied since the discontinuation of the Audi 50 in 1978, the three-door A1 hatchback charmed a younger, hipper group of motorists with the Volkswagen Polo-based compact. Announcing the five-door A1 Sportback’s addition just last month ago, the shift towards practicality for the model will be accompanied by a product capturing clients expecting excess thrill. Just ahead of Christmas, Audi delivers news of a limited production A1 quattro sport compact car. Part of what will be a quick production run of 333 cars in 2012, the Audi A1 quattro trails deeply into European factory sport compact culture.
For this special edition quattro model, Audi has added some standard expressions of aggression only giving a preview to the car that is the A1 quattro. Tinted rear windows, a blackened rear diffuser and Glacier White painted 18-inch alloy wheels are mild tell tale signs of this compact’s differentiation from its economy car siblings. Xenon plus headlamps and adaptive brake lights is high-end A1 quattro touches guaranteed to win over the Audi faithful admiring the division’s emphasis on technology integrated with design. Maybe an unimposing image on the roadway, the power that lurks inside of this premium sport compact will allow the Audi A1 quattro to effectively stand out when in motion.
Powered by Audi’s 2.0 TFSI inline-four engine, the A1 quattro performance is launched to levels close to the TTS sports car. Combining a turbocharger and intercooler assembly with gasoline direct injection inside the engine bay, the Audi A1 quattro claws pavement under the momentum of 256 horsepower. Accelerating under the force of 258 pounds feet of torque, the Audi 2.0 TFSI powerplant storms from 0 to 62 miles per hour in an advertised 5.7-second time. The Audi A1 quattro top speed is appraised at 245 kilometers per hour (152 miles per hour).
The surge of quattro all-wheel drive keeps the Audi A1 quattro extremely stable under heavy performance load. The only chance to buy a quattro-equipped version of the A1, this car is Audi’s smallest production exercises into all-wheel drive motoring. In between the 2.0 TFSI engine and the quattro drivetrain is a six-speed manual gearbox. Electronic stability control and differential lock of both axles assures steady control on the vehicle when placed on the verge of instability.
Inside the cockpit of the Audi A1 quattro, a serious black interior relays the sense of ultimate sports car driving. Featuring red as a faint support colour, black Silk Nappa leather covers the armrests on the doors as well as the well-bolstered sport seats. Along with red stitching, the generous use of aluminum or aluminum-like pieces on the shifter knob and door handles contrasts the dark interior of the Audi A1 quattro. Automatic air conditioning and LED interior lighting will insure that the black automotive cabin is very liveable for pursuing comfortable yet enthusiastic driving. An occupant operating the Audi A1 quattro will benefit with driver-oriented interior design featuring a multi-function steering wheel as well as a highly legible instrument console including a bold red-faced tachometer.
Along with the shear thrill occupants will feel as the Audi A1 quattro rockets through European roads and across highways, the compact is equipped with a far-reaching assortment of infotainment gear to companion the motoring experience. Bose supplies a 14-speaker, 456-watt sound system suited for the optimal enjoyment of audio tracks through the A1 quattro’s CD changer or through MP3 tracks. The Audi A1 quattro’s infotainment connectivity includes the technology to connect with Google Earth. Passengers can also link to the Internet with the A1 quattro’s integrated WLAN hotspot through their portable computing devices.
Overall, the Audi A1 quattro will be a rare opportunity to capture a piece of S-Line performance in a smaller package. An automotive delight that North American customers will not realize, the limited 333-car production of the Audi A1 quattro who leave many potential European customers leaving dealerships saddened to miss their ownership opportunity. Please forgive the jealous residents west of the Atlantic Ocean expressing schadenfreude to that kind of misfortune.
Information and photo source: Audi AG