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When Audi introduced its compact A1 to the market last year it no undoubtedly did so with BMW’s venerable MINI brand squarely in it sites. However, when Audi designer penned the car they skipped the temptation to go retro much as the MINI Cooper or the Fiat 500 have and instead embraced the brand’s progressive and forward-looking mantra by building a thoroughly modern and tech-laden car. And, not surprisingly, Audi is now also moving toward the introduction of a quattro version, which’d be the first all-wheel drive offering in the compact class since the long-retired Yugo-fighting Subaru Justy.

For those unfamiliar, the Audi A1 makes use of the Volkswagen Group’s current small car architecture known internally as PQ25. Like the slightly larger Audi A3 and Audi TT, the PQ25 Audi A1 uses transverse or East-West engine placement in order to bestow the car with both its compact size and generous interior space. And, like the A3 and TT, Audi went with essentially the same all-wheel drive system.

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I am a bit disappointed that Audi did not go the route of its hybrid A1 showcar and use a battery to drive the rear wheels. I was looking toward replacing my 8L S3 with an S1 however, it seems the technical advancements over my car will not be that great. At least not great enough to justify the cost of replacement.
 
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