Under the hood
Audi’s clearly been smoking something very strong, because to shove a turbocharged 2.0-litre unit (yup, the same you’d get in a VW Scirocco R) under the hood of an A1 demands serious kahunas. And that’s before you remember that the power is pumped to each corner via a manly six-speed manual ‘box. Respect!
This 252bhp ultimate hot hatch then, is bloody quick and very hands on. Dump the clutch in first and you’re on your way to 62mph in 5.7 sec (that’s quicker than a standard Cayman). Keep your right foot planted and you’ll see 152mph.
Behind the wheel
For an A1, it’s fast. Very fast. And thanks to four-wheel drive, the A1 quattro’s also a super-hot hatch in a very small handful of pocket rockets whose power you can properly explore without needing 999 emergency services on speed dial. The A1’s abundance of grip, quick and weighty steering and short wheelbase also make it an absolute blast to hurl through tight bends.
Acceleration in a straight line is hard and smooth (easy…), but won’t be as semi-inducing as you were hoping for; four-wheel drive plus £11k worth of kit make the A1 quattro quite the porker (that’s ‘bubbly’ in human terms) at 1420kg, some 230kg heavier than the next hottest A1, the 1.4 TFSI S tronic.
Speaking of which, you won’t find any dual-clutch auto ‘box nonsense here. Just a manly six-speed manual for hands on hoonage. Granted, it’s not the notchiest or quickest ‘box in the land, but at least we’re not forced into auto ‘box ownership like the Polo GTi and forthcoming Renault Clio RS.
The noise from the A1’s tasty twin tailpipes is decent too, as is the feisty four-pot engine note under the bonnet. It’s a shame, however, that this super-exclusive hot hatch – just 333 have been made in left-hand drive only – can’t match the five-cylinder turbocharged goodness of the mind-blowing TT RS Plus…
Inside the A1 quattro’s cabin there’s a sweet mix of red stitching, quattro badging and a cracking set of sports seats.
The outside, however, is just awesome. Starting with the retro wheels – which are a nod to the original Quattro rally daddy – to the flared arches, gloss black touches and rude boy roof spoiler, this A1 looks like nothing else on the roads.
Splash the cash?
Ooohhhh, now you’re asking. The price for this thing comes in at £41k, which is clearly a lot – no a f**k load – to ask for an A1; you’re looking at Porsche Cayman territory or BMW M135i if you fancy a cool £10k pocket money in the deal?
But then again – while not the ultimate Audi Quattro car – it’s the most hardcore A1 you can get, comes with shed loads of kit (parking sensors, LEDs, DAB and Bose bass) and enough exclusivity to guarantee that you won’t see another BNOC (Big Name On Campus) behind the wheel of one.Audi A1 Quattro Review: The Ultimate Q Car?,