The latest challenger in the world of tiny, fast hatchbacks comes in the form of the Audi A1 Quattro, a limited-run performance model of the company’s Europe-only hatch. Audi plans to build just 333 copies of the car, which packs a 256-hp wallop and wears fantastic new styling components.
Regular readers will note that the A1 Quattro looks remarkably similar to a car we spied on the Nürburgring two months ago; whereas we expected the moniker RS1, Audi has instead simply appended “Quattro” to the small car’s name.
The key ingredient in the new car is Audi’s 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged inline-four engine, producing a solid 256 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Its output is transferred exclusively to quattro all-wheel-drive by way of a six-speed manual transmission. Audi says the A1 Quattro hits 62 mph in 5.7 seconds and can reach 152 mph.
Visual upgrades come in the form of a big rear wing, tinted rear windows and taillights, dual 3.9-inch exhaust tips, and subtle red accents in the headlights. The A1 wears unique turbine-style white wheels measuring 18 inches in diameter and eight inches wide. An aluminum shift knob, stainless-steel pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a racy red-faced tachometer accent the car’s interior.
To match the power upgrades, Audi gifted the Quattro with larger, vented brake discs gripped by black-painted calipers; firmer suspension tuning; a more direct steering ratio; and a revised stability-control system that can be fully disabled for track use.
The A1 Quattro goes on sale in the second half of 2012, and just 333 lucky customers will have a chance to buy one. Pricing hasn’t yet been announced and, sadly, the car will not make an appearance on American soil.