Ice Driving with the New Audi A1 Quattro - CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS


Uploaded by drive on 29.02.2012

Transcript:
[MUSIC PLAYING]

CHRIS HARRIS: How do I get myself into these bloody
situations?
Right, I'm in an A1 Quattro, which at the moment seems to
be quite a funky little car from where I'm sitting.
I've just put my cameras in myself, so the
angles will be all wrong.
The audio's gonna be all wrong.
I don't have a videographer with me at the moment.
[MUSIC PLAYING]
CHRIS HARRIS: OK.
Right.
So this is extremely high production
values, as you can see.
This is the A1 Quattro launch.
But do you know what?
It actually doesn't feel like a launch.
It feels like a day of fun with Audi,
because there's A1 Quattros.
250-something horsepower in an A1.
Four-wheel drive.
Manual gearbox [BLEEP].
There's Stig Blomqvist in a Sport Quattro, and there's
also a Sport Quattro street car.
So I'm just getting my cameras together, and then
we're going to have--
yeah.
A day of fun.
But this is the main event.
Under that little clam-like bonnet is a familiar 2.0-liter
TFSI motor.
256 horsepower, 258 foot pounds of torque.
Nothing too groundbreaking.
Gives a claim, 0 to 62 in 5.7 seconds.
152 miles an hour flat out.
It's a six-speed manual, too.
Inside it's full of expensive leather and plastics.
There's even a little badge on the swawnky wheel to remind
you that you just blew 40 grand on a hatchback.
Here's a terrible shot of a seat I took.
It's the only one I've got, so sorry about that.
Now look.
There are Quattro badges everywhere.
And that's the strange thing about this car.
It wasn't developed by the hotheads at Audi Quattro
headquarters.
It was actually created by the normal road car guys, which
must have caused some in-house tension, I think.
That's like BMW M not doing the 1M Cooper.
Anyhow, here it is.
Cute side profile.
But it does weigh 1,300 kilograms,
so it's quite heavy.
Big rear spoiler.

Very nice twin outlet exhaust--
100 millimeter tips, for the geeks out there.
Anyhow, at this point, I tried to get under the backside to
show you the funky multi-link rear suspension but succeeded
only in getting cold knees.
So here's a German chap explaining it from the press
conference.
MALE SPEAKER: If we now look at the four-link independent
suspension of the TTS, however, you already have an
inkling of the effort required to [INAUDIBLE]
A1 platform.
The first step was to define new mounting points for the
power rear-axle.
[INAUDIBLE].

CHRIS HARRIS: I'm just going out for a go with Stig.
[ENGINE REVVING]
CHRIS HARRIS: Just to confirm, how old are you, Stig?
STIG BLOMQVIST: [INAUDIBLE].

CHRIS HARRIS: We're on a lake in Sweden.
It seems a strange place to let people drive a hatchback,
'cause I'm not sure how much you learn about it.
This is a pretty rare little car.
333 for the entire world.
About 250-something horsepower.
It's small.
To European people, it's kind of a VW Polo underneath.
It's four-wheel drive.
They've made 600 changes to the car over the fastest
normal A1 Quattro.
And it results in what we hope is one of the coolest,
funkiest, small cars around.
I'm about to go out and do a sort of
ducks and drakes, like.
You can see there's a sort of vast expanse of--
knock that back a bit--
vast expanse of lake on either side of me.
I do like Sweden in the winter.
It's kind of a yob's paradise.
I've got all the safety systems on.
Audi love this.
When you go on a launch, they just say, oh, leave all the
systems on, please.
But what?
Don't want to leave all the systems on, do I?
Yeah, we'll leave them on for a bit and learn what happens
with the car and how clever they all are.
But other than that, really just want to go
out and hoon about.
It's a lake, after all.

Oh, it feels quite pokey, actually.
This is, of course, objectively, one of the most
ridiculous exercises that you'll see all year, because
you just can't tell anything, can you?
It's a--
it's a hatchback on ice.
We'll follow this German gentleman around very slowly
at 30 miles an hour.
Yes.
Yes.
This is boring.
Very boring.
What can I tell you about the car?
Well, I can tell you that the seat is nice and comfortable.
I can tell you that the rev counter ahead of me is red.
That's a first for Audi, apparently.
And the interior is sort of like an Audi.
I'm going to turn the camera off because
this is utterly dull.
And then something completely unexpected happened.
Audi rummaged around in its corporate bag of humor and
said, ahh, turn all the buttons off and have some fun.
So we did.

So at last what I now have is a 40,000 pound hot hatchback,
which does feel quite pokey to me.
Um, pretty ungrippy tires on a lake with no systems or any of
that bullshit.

God, it's a fast car.
It is quite a fast car.
It is quite a fast car, I'll give them that.

Do you know what?
I can left-foot brake, which is a first for an Audi.
Because normally in Audis, when you left-foot brake it
cuts everything, doesn't it?
[MUSIC PLAYING]
CHRIS HARRIS: I have to say-- what am I
learning about the car?
Not a lot.
I'm just reminding myself I actually quite
like driving on ice.
Cocking about in someone else's expensive car.
[MUSIC PLAYING]
CHRIS HARRIS: Is this relevant, though?
I mean, there's only going to be 333 of these frankly
slightly amusing cars.
And that means that it doesn't really matter what I think
about it, does it?
Because people who buy it already have bought it, and
they probably never will come and drive it on ice.
I do love the randomness of this job sometimes.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

[LAUGHS]
CHRIS HARRIS: This car uses the Volkswagen group's
familiar Haldex four-wheel drive system, which means it's
predominantly front-driven.
But if you treat it with a little respect, you can make
it do some fairly magnificent things, as you see here.
One other thing.
That manual gearshift?
Well, it's just proper, isn't it?
[MUSIC PLAYING]
CHRIS HARRIS: Yes.
So the summary is, I can't tell you anything more about
the car, but I'm having a really good time.

So we had some fun.
I took a quick ride with the original Stig.
We did learn a little bit about the A1 Quattro.
But best of all, at the last shot of the day, I completely
nailed the photographer.

[LAUGHING]
[MUSIC PLAYING]