A larger-than-life 503PS version of the smallest Audi to date makes its debut this week at Austria’s 30th annual Wörtherseetour meeting for fans of VW Group models. The one-off A1 clubsport quattro uses a heavily modified version of the RS 3 Sportback’s turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine to deliver electrifying performance which is headlined by figures including 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds and 0-124mph in just 10.9 seconds.
The heart of the Audi A1 clubsport quattro is a classic Audi petrol engine – a five-cylinder unit displacing 2.5 litres with turbocharging and direct fuel injection. Compared with the version used in the Audi TT RS and RS 3 Sportback on which it is based, the output of the TFSI has been increased dramatically to 503PS and 660 Nm of torque. Maximum power is available between 2,500 and 5,300 rpm.
The turbocharger, intercooler, induction tract and the exhaust line have been systematically tuned for high performance. As on the Audi A4 DTM, the tailpipe is located on the left flank, just in front of the rear wheel.
Another area where the A1 clubsport quattro shines is in its overall weight of just 1,390 kilograms. This helps it to catapult from 0 to 62mph in 3.7 seconds, and from 0 to 124mph in just 10.9 seconds. The 50-70mph overtaking surge can be dispatched in fourth gear in just 2.4 seconds.
A six-speed manual transmission and quattro permanent all-wheel drive, both taken from the TT RS and enhanced, deliver the power to all four wheels. Top speed is governed at 155mph.
The Audi showcar rolls on 255/30 low-profile tyres mounted on 19-inch alloy wheels with a unique turbine design. Sitting behind the wheels are large, internally ventilated disc brakes. Up front, six-piston callipers grab perforated carbon fibre-ceramic discs. Large steel discs are mounted on the rear axle. The coilover suspension of the A1 clubsport quattro features adjustable compression and rebound damping.
Dynamic and brawny: the exterior
Visually, the exquisitely finished show car makes no secret of its potential. The body has a Glacier White matte paint finish, with accents provided by many add-on parts. The roof arch in high-gloss black supports a roof made of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP), and the four rings at the front of the car are solid aluminium.
Large, split air intakes with carbon struts are integrated into the distinctively modified front skirt. The single-frame radiator grille sports a black honeycomb design, and the headlights feature matted clasps with a red “wing”. Heat from the engine compartment is dissipated via two large air outlets in the bonnet.
The front wings, the doors and the rear side panels of the Audi A1 clubsport quattro have been widened by a total of 60 millimetres. They form horizontal “blister” edges, like those found on the Audi Ur-quattro. Air outlets are integrated into the rear ends of the wings, and the newly designed trim strips on the sills are made of exposed CFRP. Sleek side mirrors are reminiscent of the Audi R8 high-performance sports car.
The rear of the showcar is dominated by the roof spoiler, which features a double wing to provide for sufficient downforce. Darkly toned rear lights and a large, closed diffuser hone the rear view of the A1 clubsport quattro.
Designed as a road vehicle for the race track, the showcar has no rear seat. In its place are a large crossbar to urther stiffen the body and storage for racing helmets. A weight-optimised starter battery used in racing is mounted in the rear below the two storage compartments. The strict high-performance concept left no room for an infotainment system, an MMI monitor or even a loudspeaker. The lightweight bucket seats are taken from the Audi R8 GT and feature a chassis made of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer. Red four-point belts secure the driver and passenger.
The interior of the showcar is a study in dark grey. Large areas are covered with exposed, matte-finished CFRP, including the walls in the rear section of the car, the tubes of the air vents and the “stern of the yacht” in the lower section of the centre console. The CFRP material used on the open-spoked sport steering wheel is covered with leather. Rocker switches on the centre console replace switches on the control stalk and in the door panels. Three additional instruments indicate the oil pressure, boost pressure and electrical system voltage.
The centre console and the seats are covered in fine leather upholstery with tone-on-tone stitching. The selector lever is made of aluminium; the caps of the pedals and the surface of the footrest are made of stainless steel. Red loops replace the handles on the doors, the glove box and the covers of the storage compartments.
Experience the Audi A1 clubsport quattro interactively
The Audi A1 clubsport quattro can also be experienced exclusively in Need for Speed World (http://world.needforspeed.com), where it will be available to all players as a free in-game rental car from June 1 – 4. Need for Speed World is the Play4Free online PC racing game from EA, in which players take part in races in a giant multiplayer world.