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Audi A1 Quattro models ‘on the way’

Wed, 12 Jan 2011

Audi has confirmed it is testing four-wheel drive Quattro versions of the A1 – indicating an imminent expansion of Audi’s supermini range.

Although showcased as this one-off at a Quattro publicity event in Montreal, Canada, to celebrate 30 years of the all-corner drive system, Ingolstadt acknowledged at last autumn’s 2010 Paris motor show that Quattro versions of the A1 were in the pipeline.

The production A1 Quattro will use the Haldex differential to split drive to both axles; it’s a similar technology to that found in A3 and TT Quattros, as opposed to the mechanical Torsen diff found in larger Quattro models.

The electronically controlled, hydraulically activated clutch in front of the rear axle shuffles torque to the rear wheels when the front tyres slip.

Inside the Haldex diff a set of clutch plates rotate in an oil bath. When the front axle loses traction, in say snow or icy conditions, the clutch plates are forced together to send drive rearwards. A pressure reservoir helps the electric pump maintain the oil pressure necessary for a speedy reaction.

Currently there are 10 front-wheel drive A1s, stretching from the £13,420 1.2 TFSI to a £18,665 1.6 TDI.

Quattro A1 models are expected to arrive in 2012, available across a choice of higher powered models beginning with the anticipated S1.

CAR's sources suggest that eventually the A1 range will expand to include an RS1 pocket rocket and Q1 off-road variants - all of which will include the Quattro system.

By Tim Pollard