July 29, 2014

Audi A1 quattro prototype

The Audi A1 quattro

The Audi A1 quattro snow testing in Canada

Audi is developing a quattro system for the Audi A1. Expect an Audi A1 quattro later this year and a quattro Audi S1 in 2012.

It did seem a strange omission by Audi not to have a quattro drivetrain for the ‘Only Premium Brand in its Sector’ Audi A1. And it was that lack of a quattro system for the A1 which apparently stopped the car that ended up being the Audi A1 1.4 TFSI from being launched as the Audi S1 at Paris last year.

All of which has no doubt spurred Audi on to see development of a quattro platform for the A1. That and the embarrassment of having to backtrack on plans for a FWD S1. Which probably explains why we get treated to info and pics of the ‘Work in progress’ that is the development of the Audi A1 quattro.

We’ve had a small press release and the photo you see at the top from Audi. They tell us that the “…Audi A1 quattro prototype brings all-wheel-drive to the premium subcompact hatchback segment for the first time.” Perhaps the MINI Countryman doesn’t count as a sub-compact hatch? (actually, we’re not all that sure what to consider the Countryman).

The quattro system in the A1 is similar to that in the A3 and TT. It sends power to the front wheels under normal conditions, but when it senses slip at the front a multi-plate clutch can shove drive to the back axle to give four wheel drive.

It seems likely that the Audi A1 Quattro will get the same engine as the 1.4 TFSI and come in S-Line trim. We do expect a proper Audi S1 to make the cut at some point with more like 210bhp. And when will all this happen? Our bet is quite soon. A1 sales are not as good as Auid expected, and a new halo model or two may help.

Even if they are likely to cost over £20k.

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