Audi A1 quattro under development
17th January, 2011
An Audi A1 quattro prototype that brings all-wheel
drive to the premium sub-compact hatchback segment for the first time is currently undergoing testing
in freezing conditions on Canada’s densely snow-packed roads.
The one-off development car is one of the cars 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 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 optimised 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
Even before it filters into the most diminutive of Audi models, the quattro system is already a
feature of many variants in the Audi line-up, from the A3 hatchback through to the R8 super car.