The Audi even millionaires can't buy
By Edward Stephens
APPARENTLY Audis are the first car choice of lottery millionaires but even the biggest UK jackpot winner won’t be able to get their hands on the new superfast, ultra-exclusive Audi A1 quattro.
Just 333 examples of this flagship model are being made and only 19 are coming to Britain.
And despite a price tag of more than £41,000 all have been snapped up.
The A1 is the smallest model the German car maker produces but in performance terms this new quattro version – the fastest accelerating car of its kind – is more than a match for most of its luxury saloon and hatchback siblings.
Because there is such a limited production run it wasn’t deemed viable to make any right-hand drive versions but this doesn’t seem to have deterred British buyers.
“These cars were snapped up almost as soon as they were announced,” an Audi spokesman told me.
“There are a lot of Audi enthusiasts out there who want to get their hands on something different and rare, even if it does mean having a left-hand-drive vehicle.”
The A1 quattro is only available in glacier white with a high gloss black roof, black interior and distinctive white alloy wheels.
A large two-colour rear spoiler and two sizeable 100-millimetre diameter polished exhaust tailpipes make sure this is a car to get you noticed in.
Step inside and the first thing that strikes you is the small metal plaque on the chunky leather steering wheel which proudly proclaims its production number - and this was 1 of 333.
Your eye is then automatically drawn to the unusual red-faced rev counter which is also a unique feature of the car.
In true quattro style there are brushed stainless steel sports pedals and high backed silk Nappa leather sports seats with contrasting red stitching which hold you firmly in place on fast corners.
On the road the A1 quattro gives you a thrill a minute ride and it’s easy to see why so many wealthy people were happy to stump up more than three times the price of the entry level A1 to get one.
The 2.0-litre turbo-charged engine – which doesn’t appear in any other Audi – develops a hefty 256bhp which rockets this small car from 0-62 mph in just 5.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 152mph.
From behind the wheel the car feels much quicker than that. Put your foot down hard on the accelerator and the needle on the rev counter goes from low down on the dial to the red zone in the blink of an eye, almost leaving you struggling to race through the six-speed gearbox to keep up.
Fortunately the all-wheel-drive of the quattro is perfect for ensuring that all that power is put directly to the road without any wheelspin and also gives the car limpet-like road holding.
Despite its sporting nature the A1 quattro is quiet and superbly refined, feeling more like a six than a four cylinder car. It can average almost 33 to the gallon with emissions of just 199g/km such is the efficiency of Audi's performance engines.
Economy like that means the new owners will at least find their expensive indulgence is relatively cheap to run.