Audi A1 Quattro prototype makes its debut in the snow

Article by Christian A., on January 11, 2011

It appears that Audi will also equip the small A1 hatchback with the Quattro all-wheel-drive system as the German manufacturer revealed a one-off development car at the ‘Fascination of quattro’ event, taking place in Montreal. According to Audi, the new A1 carries a very similar Quattro system used by the A3 and TT models.

This means that at its core is an electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch located in front of the rear axle for an optimized distribution of weight.

Inside, there is a package of plates that rotate in an oil bath. What is really interesting is that the clutch sends most of the engine’s power to the front wheels during normal driving, but when the front axle loses grip, the clutch can instantly transfer torque to the rear axle by forcing the plate packages together.

In order to help the electric pump to develop the necessary oil pressure, a pressure reservoir has been installed. Currently, the A1 offers a choice of ten front-wheel-driven models, powered by the 1.2-litre TFSI (86PS) and 1.4-litre TFSI (122PS) petrol engines as well as by a 1.6-litre TDI (105PS) diesel engine.

The Quattro system is already offered in over 120 variants in the Audi line-up, but it appears that sooner than expected we will also see this system on the A1.

Press Release

Audi A1 Quattro Prototype Makes A Chilling Debut

  • Developmental version of forthcoming all-wheel-drive premium subcompact hatchback is tested on snow-laden roads around Montreal
  • Newcomer will ensure quattro has full representation across the Audi range
  • An Audi A1 quattro prototype that brings all-wheel-drive to the premium subcompact hatchback segment for the first time is currently undergoing a baptism of fire grappling with freezing conditions on Canada's densely snow-packed roads.


The one-off development car is one of the stars of the 'Fascination of quattro' event taking place in Montreal to celebrate the past, present and future of the legendary four-wheel-drive system, which reached its 30th anniversary in 2010. It reaffirms the Vorsprung durch Technik brand's commitment, made at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, to underpin future high performance variants of the A1 with this proven driver aid.

The latest member of the burgeoning quattro family uses technology very similar to that used in A3 and TT models. At its core is an electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch located in front of the rear axle for an optimized distribution of weight. Inside is a package of plates that rotate in an oil bath.

During normal driving, the clutch sends most of the engine's power to the front wheels. If the front axle loses grip, the clutch can instantly transfer torque to the rear axle by forcing the plate packages together. A pressure reservoir helps the electric pump to develop the necessary oil pressure.

The UK A1 range currently offers a choice of ten front-wheel-driven models powered by 1.2-litre TFSI (86PS) and 1.4-litre TFSI (122PS) petrol engines and a 1.6-litre TDI (105PS) diesel, and is priced from £13,420 OTR to £18,665 OTR.

Even before it filters into the most diminutive of Audi models, the quattro system is already a feature of over 120 variants in the Audi line-up, from the A3 hatchback through to the R8 super car.

Topics: audi, audi a1, quattro

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