You may thinks the A1 quattro revealed this morning by Audi should really be the S1. It would make sense. After all, this very hot hatch musters 252bhp thanks to the same 2.0 litre turbo lump found under the bonnet of the S3.
But Audi say the A1 quattro isn’t a production model, just a limited edition special and that of the 333 cars they plan to build, none will be in RHD. But worry not, Audi are not in the business of missing a niche or twelve, so this A1 special doubtless signals a proper production S1 somewhere up the road.
As well as the 252bhp lump from the S3, the A1 quattro gets a six-speed manual ‘box to row the power through a Haldex-style four wheel drive system, designed just for the A1 quattro. But you can bet your boots that’s not actually the case. Just as we said when we reported Audi testing an A1 quattro at the start of 2011.
Audi pulled the plug on an ‘S1′ with FWD and the 1.4 litre TSI lump at Paris last year as they felt it devalued the ‘S’ moniker. Instead that car became the A1 1.4 TFSI. The issue was the lack of a 4WD platform for the A1, but now Audi has that with the A1 quattro we will doubtless see an S1 before too long, and probably a VW Polo R too.
For now we get this A1 quattro with its S3 power, lower suspension with wider track, retuned ESP, electronic diff lock, lots of bolt-on aero bits that makes the A1 look rather like a 1980s quattro, new interior with big bolsters to keep you in place, a flat bottomed steering wheel and black leather with red stitching.
How much will this barn storming A1 quattro cost? Audi aren’t saying, but it will be heading firmly towards £30k.
Audi A1 quattro Photo Gallery
(13 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)