Audi A1 Quattro: I Want One for Next Christmas (2012)

2013 Audi A1 quattro, front

With much media fanfare, the Audi A1 Quattro has been announced for production next year (only 333 cars) for Europe only. We add to the noise today so those cretins in charge at Audi will be pressured to release this thing in quantity in the U.S.

I could probably get one in Mexico, with the right connections and sufficient cash. There are plenty of A1s around—which the U.S. also doesn’t get. Sorry.

The fuss is all about a beautifully designed small hot hatch with 256 hp (258 lb-ft of torque), with Quattro drive (details here on “Vorsprung durch Technik”) to all four wheels. Sixty mph comes in 5.7 seconds, and top speed is 152 mph. Fuel economy is claimed to be about 28 mpg. Six-speed manual only.

Except for the too-large rear spoiler, Audi has finally gotten its styling cues to work in a small package. (Their big cars, like the Q7, are barge-ugly.) The A1-Q’s front end is dominated by big air intakes, reducing the effect of the yawning grille. The rear is, to my mind, perfectly proportioned. The car is lower than the A1.

Audi A1 quattro, interiorThe A1 Quattro’s interior is simply peerless for a small sports car. Black leather and red-stitched S sport seats dominate. A full range of equipment will come standard, including

xenon plus headlights, high-beam assistant, adaptive brake lights, LED interior lighting package, light and rain sensor, automatically dimming interior mirror, rear parking system, automatic air conditioning, alarm system, storage package, convenience key and cruise control.

Audi A1 quattro, rearPlus a CD changer, nav system, Bose sound (465 watts and 14 speakers—in this tiny car?), Bluetooth and blah-blah.

So the price for this baby will not be cheap. The TT starts at $38,300 and goes beyond $44K. The A1 Quattro will be in European stores in the latter part of 2012; no price set yet. It’s what the TT should have been from the beginning, and my guess is that it will cost at least as much.

Quattro cars are always heavier—but also have more grip. With the extra power in this car, performance should beat anything in its class—including Fiat 500 Abarths and MINI Cooper S models.

I’m taking contributions for Christmas 2012.

Which would you want: an A1 Quattro or a BMW 128i coupe?

—jgoods

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3 Comments

  1. A welcome departure for Audi. The car seems solidly aimed at a cult classic, the Subaru WRX.

  2. I don’t know that it’ll beat EVERYTHING in it’s class. Assuming you’re talking Euro market since that’s where its coming out.
    What about the Focus RS? Or the BMW 135i? I think those are faster than that A1.
    As for the question, since we’re obviously looking at the Euro market since the A1 is being considered, I’d go with the Focus RS.

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