Audi UK has confirmed that the four-wheel-drive Audi A1 quattro will come to the UK, albeit in very limited numbers. The Ingolstadt manufacturer is poised to take the supermini class by storm with the limited-production, 252bhp A1 quattro, which was first revealed in late 2011.
Although Audi has no plans to produce the A1 quattro in right-hand drive, interest in the car (and quattro products in general) means that Audi UK will get 20 examples out of the limited run of just 333. The cars will remain in left-hand-drive due to the economies of scale involved in tooling up to produce such a small number of right-hand-drive machines.
Audi UK hasn’t determined a UK price for the A1 quattro, but a spokesman confirmed that the company has received several deposits already and expects all 20 to be sold well in advance of the car’s launch in late 2012. The price will significantly eclipse the £20,710 S-tronic-equipped 1.4 TFSI that currently tops the A1 range.
The hardcore A1 not only aims to land a knockout blow on the likes of the Renault Clio Cup and Ford Fiesta ST, but it will also eclipse hot hatches such as the Renault Mégane 250 and Ford Focus ST. It will even have the straight-line performance to match Audi’s own S3.
The go-faster three-door hatch harks back to Audi’s rallying heyday of the 1980s. It gets aggressive styling, a powerful turbocharged engine and the latest in four-wheel drive technology. There’s also a heavily reworked interior to back up its impressive mechanical prowess.
Power comes from the same turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine used in the S3. Shoehorned transversely into the engine bay, it produces 252bhp at 6000rpm and 258lb ft from 2500-4500rpm.