MTM-Audi A1 Nardo-Edition in the test

Rossen Gargolov
MTM-Audi A1 Nardo-Edition under test
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P orsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari - Waiting for high speed feed. In the 500 hp MTM-Audi A1, the driver quickly tends to ambush his opponents like a police civil patrol at the motorway access. With a top speed of 324 km /h the racing flea gleefully eats many super sports cars while chasing.

From high-speed racer to cornering star

But behind the cheekily grinning Singleframe face and the 30 millimeter wider and 3,200 expensive CFRP fenders, is there a star on the curve? 'In 2012 we want to heat up the mini competition in the small car class at the Tuner GP with our Audi A1,' promises MTM boss Roland Mayer. After the world record run in the middle of the year on the high-speed oval in Nardo, southern Italy, the power dwarf should now also be made fit for the racetrack.

A short technical excursion for everyone who is new to the small power plant: The 2.5-liter five-cylinder of the TT RS /RS 3, including the charge air and water cooler, squeezes into the engine compartment of the MTM Audi A1. 'In addition, we have installed two pressure fans from Spal instead of the draft fan for optimal cooling,' explains MTM engineer Michael Weber. Cooling is a must - after all, the A1 also lives according to the unofficial MTM motto “Every day with series performance is a wasted day.”

A larger turbocharger and revised engine electronics push the engine from 340 to 500 hp. Click, press the start button: The tuned Langhuber turns some marketing PR talk from Ingolstadt about 'the legendary five-cylinder' into boring empty phrases. Only the MTM-Audi A1 really roars with Pikes Peak memories. Not only the engine noise is catchy, the gasoline pump buzzes like a tinnitus from the uninsulated rear. No wonder. Bare metal now flashes where toddlers usually loll around in the A1. The MTM men removed the rear seats for weight reasons.

MTM-Audi A1 only a dozen kilos heavier

At 1,249 kilos, the 500 PS-A1 only weighs twelve kilograms more than the currently most powerful Audi A1 production model 1.4 TFSI with 185 PS and S tronic. Despite the five-cylinder on the front axle, the weight distribution is only minimally worse at 64.9 to 35.1 (TFSI with 185 PS and S tronic: 63.1 to 36.9). A manual six-speed gearbox transmits the torque mountain of 600 in the MTM versionNewton meters on the front axle. A pinch too much gas and the 235 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires specially made for the little racer paint black autographs on the tar.

Ideally, you can go over the 100 in 5.0 seconds from a standing start km /h mark and in 13.9 seconds to 200 km /h (0-200 km /h: Audi TT RS: 17.5 s, Audi RS5: 16.5 s, Audi RS3: 17.5 s). Compared to the top-speed excursion to Nardo, the MTM technicians changed the camber of the KW Clubsport chassis from one degree to two degrees for the lap time in Hockenheim on the front axle, which includes control arms and wheel carriers of the Audi TT RS and a shortened A3 subframe . “In addition, we have increased the compression and rebound stage at the rear to make the rear axle worse,” says Weber, describing the chassis modifications the rear of the track is no longer as precise due to the new setup. Rather undesirable in everyday life, but just right for the racetrack. We also help the cute Audi A1 rear end with warm air pressures of 2.0 bar on the front axle and 2.8 bar at the rear. When braking or conscious load changes, the rear prances as agile as a boxer. In return, the tiny MTM steers with lively self-steering behavior precisely and without noticeable understeer. If the load is too motivated from the apex, however, the wildly pawing inside front wheel causes traction losses despite the Drexler lock. In addition, drive influences are noticeable in the steering. What else do you expect with 500 PS?

MTM-A1 lap time at Audi RS level

The MTM fireworks shoot the start-finish straight from at 192 km /h Hockenheim along. All the Quattro sizes lag behind (Audi RS3: 183 km /h, Audi RS5: 187 km /h, Audi TT RS: 187 km /h). With a Hockenheim lap time of 1:14.8 min, the MTM-Audi A1 easily plays in the league of RS models (Audi TT RS: 1:14.3 min, Audi RS3: 1.15.4 min, Audi RS5: 1.15.3 min ) and outclasses the most powerful production Audi A1 by 6.4 seconds. Despite the good grip level of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, the lap time could be reduced even further with real cup tires.

While the MTM brake system with 376 discs, eight-piston calipers and Pagid brake pads on the Front axle worked well on the fast lap, noticeable fading occurred during the standard brake test. 'We are currently working on better brake ventilation for the front axle,' says MTM boss Roland Mayer, describing the current development work.

Speaking of development - according to MTM insiders, the Wettstetten company is already thinking about an all-wheel drive version with over 500 hp. Dear Porsche, Lambo and Ferrari drivers, then at the latest you have to watch out for this powerhouse on the racetrack.

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