Skip advert
Advertisement

Audi A1 quattro

The new limited-edition Audi A1 quattro offers stunning pace – but it comes at a massive price

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Find your Audi A1
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

The Audi A1 quattro is a blast to drive, combining stunning performance with the same usability as lesser A1s. Such power could be overwhelming, but the quattro’s balance and grip are exceptional. The price is steep, but the limited production run guarantees its exclusivity. This A1 looks sure to go down in the hot hatch hall of fame.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The A1 quattro is the most ferocious Audi A1 you can buy. Or should we say could buy – as all 333 examples (19 of which were earmarked for the UK) have already been sold. Still, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put the model through its paces on British roads.

You can tell this A1 has more bite just by looking at it. There’s a set of white turbine-style 18-inch alloys, aggressive headlamps with red-hued LED daytime running lights, a chunky rear spoiler and wider tailpipes, while a race-inspired bodykit gives the quattro the look of a rally car.

Shoehorned into the A1’s engine bay is the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo from the previous-generation S3, while that car also donates its six-speed manual box and quattro all-wheel drive. Power output is a huge 252bhp – that’s 70bhp more than the next-best A1, the 182bhp 1.4T quattro.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The power-to-weight ratio of 182bhp per tonne is better than the heavier S3, which has a figure of 174bhp per tonne. But the two cars post identical 0-62mph sprint times, at 5.7 seconds.

Inside, the leather sports steering wheel, textured gearlever and aluminium pedals are well placed, while a low-slung driving position adds to the drama.

When you fire up this A1, the sports exhausts instantly deliver a warm burble. At a standstill, it sounds like a rally car. Press the throttle and it goes like one, too.

There’s a gutsy roar backed by a turbo whistle as you surge forwards – no wheelspin, no fuss, it just grips and goes. And while there’s a hint of lag at low revs, throttle response is razor sharp once the turbo is spooled up.

The car’s poise is impeccable in a straight line and through corners, where it’s remarkably flat. Shifting gears takes some muscle, but the box is so smooth you’ll be changing up and down for the sake of it. With plenty of feedback from the steering, the car is nimble at high speed and easy to manoeuvre when the pace drops, with strong brakes giving confidence into corners. What lets it down is the price and that limited production run.

If you can find an A1 quattro, and are able to afford it, it’s one of the best hot hatches we’ve driven.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Giant Panda electrified! New Fiat Grande Panda arrives with EV and hybrid power
Fiat Panda - front
News

Giant Panda electrified! New Fiat Grande Panda arrives with EV and hybrid power

Hybrid and electric versions will be available – the same as its sister cars, the Citroen C3/e-C3 and Vauxhall Frontera
14 Jun 2024
New Nissan Leaf is an SUV! 2025 model gets advanced tech and concept car looks
Nissan Leaf exclusive image
News

New Nissan Leaf is an SUV! 2025 model gets advanced tech and concept car looks

The next-generation Nissan Leaf will transform into an SUV inspired by the Chill-Out concept and our exclusive image previews how it could look
16 Jun 2024
Car Deal of the Day: spicy Volkswagen Polo GTI packs a lot of punch for £238 a month
Volkswagen Polo GTI cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: spicy Volkswagen Polo GTI packs a lot of punch for £238 a month

VW’s smallest hot hatch is an impressively grown up car that’s wrapped up in a compact body, and it’s our Car Deal of the Day for 14 June
14 Jun 2024