Audi’s diminutive A1 has grown some balls. Big, V6 driven, Quattro engineered balls that will ensure this aggressive little upstart will even give its biggest of big brothers, the R8, a run for its money.
The Audi A1 Clubsport Quattro (to give it its full, snappy title) is a one-off creation using the same turbocharged 2.5 litre petrol engine that can be found in the TT RS and RS3 Sportback, albeit a heavily modified version that produces a quite frankly astonishing 500bhp.
This hot version of Audi’s smallest model has been created for Wörtherseetour in Austria, an annual event that brings together fans of VW Group models – and boy, are they in for a treat.
The engine is the undoubted star of the show, with that 500bhp complimented by 487lb ft torque – substantial gains on the original figures. This combined with the diminutive stature of the baby Audi, not to mention the Quattro system, help to propel the Clubsport A1 from a standstill to 62mph in just 3.7 seconds – that’s nearly a full second faster than a V8 R8.
But Audi’s tuning arm didn’t just steal the engine from the TT RS, they also used the same 6-speed manual gearbox, which helps the A1 surge towards that magic 155mph governed top speed we’ve seen in other hot German cars like the BMW M5.
But Audi didn’t just stop there. Helping to reign those horses in are perforated carbon fibre-ceramic brake discs at the front, held by six piston callipers, while the rear axle gets large steel discs. The Clubsport Quattro also boasts adjustable compression and rebound damping of its coilover suspension.
The exterior does nothing to hide its intent. Audi have seemingly taken Focus RS levels of commitment to dramatic stick-on bits – just look at that large spoiler round the back, and that huge front bumper and splitter, though there’s no fake carbon fibre here. The A1 certainly looks the part.
The body’s Glacier White matte paint finish looks stunning alongside the high-gloss black roof, made from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer. Or CFRP, if you like your cars with acronyms. Widened by 60mm, this modern quattro has horizontal ‘blister’ edges apparently inspired by the Audi Ur-quattro, and their aggressive nature screams DTM.
Audi’s identikit range means that there is still something lacking. It looks a little too commonplace that something with this drama should present. The Focus RS is a perfect example, transforming a relatively boring car into something exceptional. This still looks too much like an Audi for me.
But there is no denying that it does look brilliant, and those statistics are enough to make anyone drool. I think its about time we got onto Audi and pestered them to make it…