The premium Audi A1 sub-compact has won a raft of awards since its launch late last year, scoring five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test and amazed journalists with its frugality of 55.4 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 119 g/km in its most humble 1.2 liter 86 PS TFSI petrol engine version.
Which makes the latest version of the A1 to surface somewhat of a surprise - by shoehorning a breathed-upon 503PS, 2.5-liter, 5-cylinder TFSI engine into that tiny engine bay, the A1 ClubSport Quattro suddenly boasts six times the power and a whopping 660 Nm of torque, enough to slingshot its diminutive form to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.7 seconds and 200 km/h (124 mph) in 10.9 seconds.
The smallest Audi yet makes its debut later today at Austria's 30th annual Wörtherseetour meeting for fans of VW Group models (Audi is owned by Volkswagen, with stablemate brands including Porsche, Lamborghini, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, and Bugatti) and will no doubt garner the attention it has been engineered to attract.
The one-off A1 Clubsport Quattro gets its first performance boost from its light weight - just 1390 kilograms (3064 lbs) ready to rock. It uses a heavily modified version of the RS 3 Sportback's 2.5 liter five-cylinder unit with turbocharging and direct fuel injection. All aspects of the engine have been reworked, including the turbocharger, intercooler, induction tract and the exhaust system and the result is that the maximum power of 503PS is available between 2,500 and 5,300 rpm - paddle the six speed manual gearbox (straight from the TT RS) between those figures and you'll be driving one of the hottest subcompacts on the planet. The quattro permanent all-wheel drive delivers power to all four wheels and is also a direct lift from the TT RS.
The Audi showcar builders appears to have had free rein at the parts bin, with six-piston calipers acting upon internally ventilated carbon fiber-ceramic discs at the front, coilover suspension with adjustable compression and rebound damping, a carbon fiber roof , a double wing roof spoiler, and lightweight carbon fiber bucket seats from the Audi R8 GT.
The Audi A1 Clubsport Quattro can also be driven by anybody at Need for Speed World as a free in-game rental car over the next four days (June 1 - 4).