Audi A1 project quattro
Innovative hybrid technology
Characteristic Audi sportiness plus a whole new dimension in efficiency – it is all down to the novel combination of a state-of-the-art turbocharged FSI engine with an electric motor and innovative control electronics.
Front-wheel drive + rear-wheel drive = quattro
The drive unit for the Audi A1 project quattro showcases a fully independent and innovative hybrid technology. At work under the bonnet is a 1.4.litre TFSI engine developing 110 kW (150 bhp), whose power is directed to the front wheels by means of the S-tronic Direct Shift Gearbox. A 30 kW (41 bhp) electric motor positioned on the rear axle is able to deliver up to an additional 200 Nm of torque when the vehicle is accelerating. In boost mode, in other words when the vehicle is being powered simultaneously by the TFSI unit and electric motor for dynamic performance, the study is transformed from a front-wheel-drive car to a quattro, and power is transferred to the road in the most effective way possible.
FSI technology plus turbocharging
The Audi engineers have long since proven the performance potential of turbocharged FSI technology, both on race tracks around the world and out on the road. The new 1.4 TFSI builds on this very same concept in order to maximise efficiency on the one hand and performance on the other. Multi-hole injectors result in very homogeneous mixture formation and extremely efficient combustion. This is also an effective means of helping to cut pollutant emissions.
The 1.4 TFSI delivers 110 kW (150 bhp) at 5,500 rpm in the study, with the integrated turbocharger ensuring optimised responsiveness and even more harmonious torque build-up. 80 percent of peak torque can be summoned up from as low down as 1,250 rpm, in other words barely above idling speed. Its peak torque of 240 Nm, meanwhile, is on tap over a broad rev band from 1,600 to 4,000 rpm. And despite its power, the 1.4 TFSI sets new benchmark standards in its class for its acoustic output too.
Pure electrical operation over shorter distances, however, is a particularly attractive alternative offered by this vehicle that benefits the environment and the owner’s wallet alike – all the more so considering that the performance achieved in this mode and even the range of over 100 kilometres are perfectly satisfactory. As a result, “refuelling” the Audi A1 project quattro from the mains alone produces an unequivocal result: even making allowance for the relatively high domestic electricity costs in Germany, it is still possible to achieve a saving of around € 6.50 for every 100 km – or 70 percent – compared to the price of premium fuel.
The dynamic chassis is tuned for sporty, agile handling combined with excellent stability, and makes cornering a particular delight. What’s more, the chassis excels with a level of ride comfort befitting of higher vehicle classes.
Large 18-inch wheels with size 225/35 R18 tyres boost both driving pleasure and safety. The braking system with its large-diameter discs (measuring 312 mm across at the front wheels) is more than a match for the drive power. Bred on the racetrack, the system promises outstanding, fade-free stopping power.
The electromechanical steering with speed-sensitive power assistance is also a boon for agile handling. The system boasts optimum steering feel combined with low sensitivity to road surface excitation and a considerable reduction in energy consumption.
Audi drive select
The Audi A1 project quattro is equipped with the Audi drive select system. This enables the driver to pre-select one of two specially adapted configurations for the drivetrain, shift characteristics and magnetic ride shock absorbers.
Efficiency mode: The default setting is the “efficiency” mode, which is automatically activated every time the engine is started. In this mode, the engine and transmission respond gently to use of the accelerator and shift paddles. This setting is ideal for a relaxed driving style, as well as offering tremendous potential for effectively lowering fuel consumption, and therefore emissions too. In the “efficiency” mode, the electric motor is not deployed as a source of additional torque; instead it is run selectively as the sole power source to bring about a tangible reduction in consumption. For this purpose, the system makes use of a host of parameters which can be fed to it via the navigation system. Thanks to the navigation system’s ability to detect differences in altitude along the route, regeneration phases as well as the increase in energy requirements on inclines can be computed before the journey has even started. This also makes for particularly efficient vehicle operation by deploying the electric motor to optimum effect.
Dynamic mode: The dynamic mode is designed to produce the dynamic yet comfortable driving sensation that is so typical of the brand and that Audi drivers have come to expect of their car. In this mode, the vehicle’s electronics also harness the torque available from the electric motor to achieve extra-sporty acceleration and excellent lateral dynamics.
Audi magnetic ride
The shock absorbers feature a highly innovative technology in the form of Audi magnetic ride, which has already made its mark in the Audi R8 high-performance sports car and in the TT. Instead of conventional damper oil, the system uses a magneto-rheological fluid, the viscosity of which can be altered by an electromagnetic field. This effect allows the damping characteristics to be adapted electronically at any time by energising the electromagnets.
Audi magnetic ride capitalises on this quality to make the appropriate damping forces available in any driving situation, thereby optimising both ride comfort and performance dynamics. A computer linked up to a system of sensors interprets the current driving situation with split-second speed. At the same time, drivers are able to choose between two different drive modes, depending on whether they wish to have a distinctly sporty drive – with the magneto-rheological fluid at a low viscosity – or a more comfort-orientated ride.
Power and elegance
The concept car’s styling makes it look as if it has been cast from a single mould. The basic proportions, with a high vehicle body and a flat window area bordered by a coupé-like roof line, produce a virtually classic look for a vehicle bearing the four rings.
The silhouette of the roof section is traced by two striking, sturdy aluminium arches which run along the top edge of the windows to connect the A and C-posts, further emphasising the dynamic appeal of the powerfully built, compact vehicle body. The shoulder line of the Audi A1 project quattro with its Racing Red paint finish is a new interpretation of yet another trademark feature of the current Audi design. Here, the prominent double lines continue around the entire vehicle as a curvaceous band that links the front end – from which it seems to emerge – with the vehicle’s tail, that rises to create a slightly wedge-shaped effect. At the front, the Audi A1 project quattro’s lowered bonnet that is virtually embedded into the shoulder line forms a novel styling element. The tail is rounded off by a spoiler integrated into the rear window.
The single-frame grille with its chequered-flag look and four interlinking rings leaves no doubt as to the study’s sporty temperament, an impression that is further underlined by the aluminium finish on elements such as the grille, mirror housings, door handles, fuel filler cap and tailpipes. The two-tone multipiece wheels that have been embellished by the addition of V-shaped polished aluminium elements lend further emphasis to the vehicle’s sportiness and exclusiveness.
Innovative LED technology
The design of the three-dimensional main headlights in innovative LED technology is especially eye-catching. The reflectors focus the light emitted by each diode to create a powerful, uniform beam whose white light colour barely places any strain on the driver’s eyes, even when driving for long distances at night. The daytime running lights are also based on LED technology, which promises extra-low energy consumption in addition to its design benefits.
Ergonomics and aesthetics
The interior, with its four individual seats and a surprisingly generous amount of spaciousness for this class, has a tidy, no-frills appearance. The curving wrap-around element merges the doors and the sporty cockpit into a single whole. The dashboard and centre console are designed entirely around the driver.
Details such as the air vents and air conditioning controls seem to be straight out of a jet plane. This same thinking was behind the soft finish of the interior’s surfaces. The round dials and the air vents, which are also circular, are reminiscent of a classic sports car cockpit à la Audi TT. The sporty seats with integrated head restraints offer levels of comfort and ergonomics that far exceed the customary standards in the subcompact segment and live up to the expectations of a typical Audi.
Ergonomics and aesthetics unite to create an ambience of clear-cut architecture and high-class appeal. This impression is further enhanced by the two-tone colour concept. The materials used for both the seat upholstery and the interior trim appeal with their high-class looks and feel. The contrasting colour scheme featuring dark panels and red stitching adds substance to the car’s overall sporty character.
The aluminium insert in the centre console comprises the mobile device as well as the start/stop button behind the gear lever. A thermos flask featuring an innovative cooling and heating system can be found in the rear portion of the centre console.
The Audi mobile device is a portable unit that functions as an access authorisation system for the vehicle, mobile phone, navigation system and audio and video player all in one. Plus, it serves as the control unit for numerous vehicle systems which can also be programmed from outside the Audi A1 project quattro.
A portable all-in-one unit
The Audi mobile device housed in the centre console offers the entire range of functions and exact same menu navigation as the MMI system. It integrates a host of communications devices that were previously only available separately into a single, extremely space-efficient unit.
This allows the driver to use the Audi mobile device as an MP3 player, for example, or as an address database and input tool for the navigation system. What’s more, he can switch on the vehicle’s heating if required and program the sound system to suit his personal preferences, all from the comfort of his own home. Access and start authorisation for the Audi A1 project quattro is also provided by the mobile device, dispensing with the need for a key.
Operation the easy way
The unit is operated using a touchscreen, whose architecture replicates the MMI standard. The touch-sensitive screen is capable of recognising both Latin and Japanese characters, and is even able to decipher handwriting. The Audi mobile device and vehicle communicate via a WLAN connection.
Built-in peace of mind
The Audi mobile device also offers the vehicle owner an extra security function: images from a camera in the vehicle interior can be received on the device’s display in real time. If the vehicle alarm is triggered, the system activates itself and warns the owner. Should the vehicle be stolen and move out of the WLAN connection’s range, the electronics automatically switch to the car phone’s UMTS transmitter to keep the owner informed of the vehicle’s current location.