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Audi reveals supercar-spec hatch

2011-05-31 14:54

DTM JUNIOR: With styling that mimics DTM championship cars (and Audi’s rally heritage), this clubsport quattro is the uber hot hatch. Image gallery

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Audi
Model Clubsport Quattro
Engine 2.5l five-cyl turbo
Power 364kW
Torque 660Nm
Transmission Six-spee manual
Zero To Hundred 3.8 sec
Top Speed 250km/h
Although naming its forthcoming hot hatch S1 upset traditional four-ringed performance motoring fans, Audi’s latest hot hatch concept is sure to soften the semantic blow.

It’s called the A1 Clubsport quattro and has been built with the express purpose of wowing Wörthersee festival attendees.

Confused? Well, VW and Audi hot-hatch fans have been congregating for the last 30 years in the Wörthersee region of Austria to celebrate all that is great about five (and three) door Wolfsburg and Ingolstadt performance motoring. To show appreciation for the loyalty of these hot hatch customers, VW (and, of late, Audi) always manage to reveal something rather special at Wörthersee.

In the past there has been a W12 powered Golf5 GTI and for 2011 its Audi’s Clubsport quattro. Audi’s quick to qualify the car as a one-off show stopper only, with no promise that any of its styling or design details will in any way feature on the S1.


Finished in white, the Clubsport quattro’s design draws inspiration from Audi’s rallying heritage. A (significantly) lower and deeper front bumper, elaborately widened (by 60mm) fenders, clear-coat composite roof, obligatory oversized rear wing and airflow optimised aft diffuser ensure a styling presence like no other.

The Clubsport quattro’s design is not simply a fantasy styling exercise. The rear wing and diffuser combination add downforce and improve directional stability by managing airflow at speed and large cooling ducts crafted into the bonnet and front fenders help keep both enginel and brakes cool.

Inside, Audi’s ultimate (so far) hot hatch sees its rear seats binned in favour of an additional structure brace to improve torsional rigidity. Doors are opened from the inside with classic weight-saving pull-straps and the two front seats are exquisite carbon-fibre framed items, lifted straight from Audi’s capital supercar, the R8 GT. Clubsport quattro’s unique instruments and flat-bottomed composite steering-wheel round off the cabin design trinkets.

Beyond its striking exterior and interior design, the Clubsport quattro is most definitely not a trailer-queen showcar. Powered by a significantly modified version of Audi’s 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine first seen in the TT-RS, this is the second-fastest road car Ingolstadt has assembled.

R8 V10 CHASER...

Although the engine upgrades are loosely detailed (boost’s been increased, a larger intercooler fitted and it breathes through a performance air-filter, and gas exchanges via craftier exhaust plumbing), the results are hugely impressive. The Clubsport quattro has 364kW of power (and 660Nm of torque) to get its 1390kg kerb weight into motion.

Driving is (obviously) via all four wheels, with torque split between the front and rear differentials courtesy of a modified Haldex multi-plate clutch, sourced (again) from the TT-RS. Enthusiasts will be thrilled to note Audi’s taken the principled decision and built its one-off clubsport quattro with a six-speed manual transmission instead of one of the company’s six (or seven) speed dual-clutch transmissions.

Data from Audi’s own performance testing reveal the Clubsport quattro to be the second-fastest road-going Audi yet. In fact, this hottest of all four-ringed hatchbacks is only a tenth slower from 0-100km/h (3.8sec) than the R8 V10; with the 0-200km/h sprint completed in an even more impressive 10.9sec. Top speed is (academically) limited to 250km/h.

HATCHBACK SUPERCAR: Side-exit exhaust indicated clubsport quattro’s performance potential. Turbine wheels look fantastic…

Considering the stupefying acceleration on offer, the car rides on a heavily modified version of the VW Group’s PQ25 (Polo/A1) platform.

It features increased structural reinforcement and adjustable damping at all four wheels which indicated the standard A1 torsion beam rear suspension has been replaced by an independent set-up at the back.

Hiding behind those arresting turbine-style 19" wheels are carbonfibre/composite brake discs actuated by six-pot callipers, which should ensure secure deceleration time and time again.

Although the Clubsport quattro is destined for museum duty after doing the auto show circuit for 2011, it does indicate the possibility of a rather wild RS1 following the S1, due in early 2012.

At the 2010 Wörthersee gathering, Audi has than seven A1 concept cars to wow show-goers.

This year, it only needs one...

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