Audi A1 Clubsport Quattro Concept is a Pocket Monster
The smallest and cheapest Audi sold on these shores may be the five-door A3, but for Europe and many other parts of the world the Four-Ring Posse’s entry level model is the A1, a front-drive-only three-door subcompact cast in the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500 mold. It’s definitely a looker, but not much of a performer.
Of course, that’s nothing a metric buttload (which, as everyone knows, is equivalent to 0.861 of an Imperial buttload) of horsepower and quattro all-wheel-drive can’t fix, and fix it Audi has by creating the A1 Clubsport Quattro concept. Better still, this white mighty mite’s coming out party is this week’s Wörtherseetour, which is pretty much Woodstock for aficionados of Audi (as well as sister brands Volkswagen, Seat and Škoda) and is held on the Wörthersee (Lake Wörther auf Englisch) in Austria.
The lab rats at Audi’s special projects department jettisoned the normal A1’s sub-2-liter four-banger and crammed the TT RS’s turbocharged 2.5L inline-five under the hood. But rather than leaving well enough alone and letting the engine pump out the same 340hp it usually does, the powertrain guys have made tweaks that yield a Coo-Coo for Cocoa Puffs 503hp. Torque output is similarly sociopathic, coming in at 487 lb.-ft. All that anger is funneled to all four wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission and the for-transverse-engine-applications quattro system.
As you might expect, the changes aren’t just limited to the drivetrain bits. There are 19” turbine-look wheels at each corner, and the front ones are hiding carbon-ceramic brake rotors. The coilover suspension features adjustable compressions and rebound damping. The body features flared fenders, vented hood, new front and rear fascias, red accents in the headlights, a massive spoiler perched on the back of the black-painted and carbon-fiber roof, and a single ovoid tailpipe poking through the driver side quarter panel. (Incidentally, Audi will soon be releasing some tamer exterior enhancements for normal A1s soon.) Inside, you’ll find a sport steering wheel, racing bucket seats with 4-point harnesses, a rear strut tower brace and nylon loop door and glovebox releases.
With all this racing-grade hardware on board, you’d expect racecar performance, and the A1 Clubsport Quattro concept doesn’t disappoint. Audi claims a 3.7 second 0-62 mph dash, while top speed is electronically capped at the German auto industry’s agreed upon (except by Porsche) 155 mph. Handling capabilities are almost certainly awe inspiring as well, with cat-on-drapes-like levels of grip likely available from the short-wheelbase, sticky tires, stiffened chassis, revised suspension and all-wheel-drive.
We can pretty much guarantee you that it will not reach production status (though a normal A1 quattro is in the works). You will, however, be able to drive it for a limited time in Need for Speed World, Electronic Arts’ free massively-multiplayer online racing game for the PC. Therefore, we’ll forgive you if you don’t bother reading the press release or looking at the gallery and instead tear ass over to the Need for Speed World Web site and download the game if you haven’t already. We’ll be here when you get back, whenever that may be.