Audi Testing A1 Quattro Prototype in Montreal, Canada

Audi’s quattro system is already a feature of over 120 variants in the Audi line-up, from the A3 hatchback to the R8 supercar. Only model without the all-wheel-drive option is the tiny A1, but things will change soon.

Audi announced today that a developmental version of the forthcoming all-wheel-drive A1 subcompact hatchback is tested on snow-laden roads around Montreal, Canada.

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.

The A1 Quattro prototype 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. The A1 is priced from £13,420 OTR to £18,665 OTR.

No official word yet, but the A1 Quattro is expected to go on sale later this year, just in time for the next winter.


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