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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Audi Crams 503 hp into A1 ClubSport Quattro, Sends it to Austria

May 31, 2011 at 1:10pm by Davey G. Johnson

While much has been made about VW’s decontenting efforts to reach its vaunted 800,000-units-shifted-stateside-by-’18 goal, zee Germans have been on a bit of a Rennsport-inspired tear in the rest of the world, unveiling the Polo R WRC car and trotting out an inline-5-powered Golf to compete at the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring in June. But said Polo only offers up 300 hp, and the Golf just 434. When the Austrian Wörtherseetour comes around, that’s simply too meager a dose of lunacy.

Astute readers may remember that in 2007, VW rolled out a 641-horse GTI, powered by the twin-turbo W-12 yanked from the engine bay of a Bentley Continental GT and planted amidships in the hapless Golf. While the turbo I5 in this year’s factory-supported blue-sky hot rod only makes 503 horsepower, it occupies the nose of a tiny Audi A1. The A1 Clubsport Quattro, as Audi’s calling it, is much more a showpiece than an actual rennwagen. And it’s not as light as one might expect. Weighing in at 3064 lb, it’s not exactly a featherweight racer — despite the carbon-fiber roof and omission of the rear seat. The sprint to 62 takes 3.7 seconds, according to Ingolstadt. We recently caned a DSG-equipped Euro-spec TT RS to 60 in 3.6, by dint of the car’s fantastic launch control. We’re assuming that the three-pedal Clubsport is not so equipped, given that, according to Audi, the hot TT weighs nearly 160 lb more and gives up 168 hp.

The event-horizon maw is the little car’s most glaring feature, but we like the subtle box-flare job, a callback to the ur-Quattro that’s somehow more successful than the squishy RS5-derived Quattro-redux. (Check out our feature on those two cars here.) We also dig the outré turbine wheels that recall the BBS units used on the old Audi 80 IMSA cars. Said wheels hide six-piston carbon-ceramic brakes in the front, while the rear makes do with steel discs. And just in case you’re curious as to how Audi envisions the whole package working, it’ll be available in Need For Speed World as a free in-game rental from June 1-4.

Tags: Audi, Audi A1, Audi A1 Clubsport Quattro |

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