Audi has unveiled a monster Audi A1 with 496bhp, accelerating from 0 to 100km/h in 3.7 sec, making it the 2nd fastest car in the line-up after the Audi R8 V10. Awesome, but unfortunately a one-off model for the Woerthersee festival.
At the heart of the new hatchback is a heavily tweaked version of Audi’s turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder powerplant, shoehorned transversely into the A1’s compact engine bay.
In standard guise, as seen in the Audi TT-RS and Audi RS3, the direct-injection unit delivers a sturdy 330bhp — or 148bhp more than the most powerful production version of the A1 up to now, the 182bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder 1.4TFSI.
But for the A1 clubsport quattro, the five-cylinder engine gains added boost pressure, a larger intercooler and a redesigned exhaust, among other unspecified modifications that see output rise by 166bhp to a supercar-like 496bhp; enough to endow the 1390kg hatchback with a power-to-weight ratio of 356.8bhp/tonne, no less.
Torque has also risen by a substantial 229lb ft — or 47 per cent — over the standard unit, peaking at 487lb ft between 2500 and 5300rpm.
Drive is delivered to all four wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox and a modified version of the TT RS’s multi-plate clutch, Haldex-style four-wheel drive system – a set-up that is already earmarked to appear on the A1 quattro.