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XCAR: Audi's A1 Quattro is what happens when you let engineers do what they want
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XCAR: Audi's A1 Quattro is what happens when you let engineers do what they want

5:40 /

Whoever came up with the idea to throw the S3's engine in to the A1, then add four-wheel-drive needs a medal. Whoever decided Audi would only make 333 A1 Quattros needs a talking to.

-Sometimes engineers have ideas. Sometimes they are a bit silly. Sometimes, well most of the time, you never really hear anything of them. But sometimes you do, and they're awesome. This is one such thing, it is called the Audi 1 Quattro, and it's nothing like the A1's you see prowling the streets. For example, this one has some pretty silly wheels, lots of black detailing, a massive spoiler, and down at the front, I could put my head in, I can. And some really rather impressive under the skin trickery. Its engine is a 2-litre, turbo charged unit from the old S3. That means it come with 253 brake horsepower, and 258 pound per foot of torque. As its name suggest, it comes with permanent four-wheel drive, multi-link rear suspension, and giant brakes. There's even a carbon fiber prop shaft, and the tweaks 6-speed manual gearbox. So it's a little bit mad, much like it's all the name say, the original Audi Quattro. Devised often Audi engineers saw how competent our drive wasn't slow against, well, pretty much anything, it was something of a showcase. And it features lots of tech-silly power, and it went like stink, a little bit like this. It was also rather good at rallying. Now before you go asking, is that the brand's banking new S1? No, it isn't. The brand's banking new Audi S1, whenever that appears, will be markedly different. For example, it will have a lot less power, it definitely won't have Quattro all the time in front of the front wheel drive with a tricky [unk] or something like that. And it will have a sensible price tag. And I say a sensible price tag because the A1 Quattro costs over £40,000. But even if you were gonna complain about that, and you have the cash burning out in your pocket, all of 19 of the UK's allocation are now gone. They've been sold. Audi's only making 333 worldwide. Oh, and also, they're all left hand drive. So what the hell is the A1 Quattro all about then? I mean, it's oddly realistic proposition, is it? The A1 Quattro is an absolutely brilliant example of what happens when someone high up the chain and goes; I wonder what we can get away with? Because what this is, is mad. It's an anomaly. It's something that shouldn't possibly exist. I mean, the A1 is the smallest car Audi makes; it's the entry level to its range. Yet someone said it was okay to take the engine out of the faster version of their family hatch, and put it in this car. You ever have this idea I want to-- I wanna meet that man. I want to shake him firmly by the hand and go, well done, sir. You are a German with a sense of humor. To drive this thing is, well, very weird to be honest. I love the A1 and its stand a trim. It's a very fun, peppy little hunchback, and the 1.4 TFSI 180, which is the kind of quickest in the lineup, the one that, you know, as mortals might actually be able to afford, is a very fun, little hunchback. It's quick enough, but this is just another level of crazy. The four-wheel drive makes you feel very, very planted. I mean, it really does. You can throw this thing in to a cold room. Well, it does get attached jittery because its wheel base is so short, and has all the power being loaded up from side to side. It's just it feels great. The acceleration is fearsome. You put on your foot, and this thing just flies. It's got this sort of rally car S30 grumble to it. -Three, two, one. Go. -You cover ground unbelievably quickly. I mean, I've reckon quite happily that this thing could easily best super cars over country rose, just A to B kind of stuff. It would be immense. It's one of these things that I never quite get my head around. It's one of those sort of dream combinations. Tiny car, giant, insane engine. Shouldn't work; really does. If you are a type of person with around £40,000 and you fancy one of these, well I can only give you one piece of advice. Do it. If you can find one, you will absolutely have to because you will be buying something truly, truly special. It's a silly idea from a group of Germans; it's a miniature rally car. You gotta buy it. You gotta drive it. You got to use it. You've got to love it. And the rest of us, will be looking on, very, very jealous.

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