Audi A1 quattro vs. Toyota GR Yaris

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When individuals speak of the celebrities aligning for an ideal drive, itโ€™s sometimes extra glamorous than this. Assume V8 saloons on the autobahn, supercars at racetracks, coastal cruising in convertibles, that form of factor. Not superminis on a wet Tuesday. However, to people like us not less than, the GR Yaris and A1 quattro are usually not the common pair of superminis โ€“ not with eight pushed wheels and greater than 500hp between them. They couldnโ€™t be higher suited to moist, windy, craggy Welsh B-roads, actually. However which is better-suited to the duty?

Although missing the direct homologation hyperlink of the Toyota, the Audi was undoubtedly constructed with not less than rally heritage in thoughts. Why else go to effort of creating an completely front-drive A1 with a torsion beam rear finish right into a limited-run flagship, with all-wheel drive and newly impartial rear suspension? Positive, all of the work right here was forward of a collection manufacturing S1 โ€“ even Audi doesnโ€™t have the cash for 333 vehicles with greater than 600 modifications from normal โ€“ but it surely appears like 4 pushed wheels needed to occur for a fast A1. As did the quattro badge. As did a launch with Stig Blomqvist. As a result of historical past.

Just like the Toyota is now, in reality, the Audi was like nothing else in its phase: extra highly effective, extra refined, and dearer. The UK would get simply 19 of the 333 quattros made, and if ยฃ40k appears rather a lot now it was insanity for a scorching hatch a decade in the past โ€“ this was the time of the Mini GP2, and no one was actually over that costing virtually ยฃ30,000. Equally, the GR Yaris is extra the than front-drive opposition, with nothing else actually comparable for the cash. Furthermore, the very limited-run GRMN apart, Toyota actually hasnโ€™t achieved loopy quick, very small hatchbacks earlier than โ€“ Audi actually hadnโ€™t previous to this, both. And positively by no means will once more. Right hereโ€™s a Toyota Yaris and an Audi A1 brimming with fanatic kudos, completely supplied with three doorways and handbook gearboxes, able to 0-62mph in lower than six seconds at twice the worth of the usual choices. Theyโ€™re correctly lovable little oddballs. Sizzling hatches that couldnโ€™t be extra up our avenue, and the chance to match them โ€“ even with the age hole โ€“ was too good to disregard.

The GR Yaris and A1 quattro are extremely shut on paper, too. The outdated Audi makes 256hp and 258lb ft from its 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo; the Toyota produces 261hp and 266lb ft from its 1,618cc triple. The A1 quattro formally weighs 1,300kg DIN, with the Yaris rated at between 1,280kg and 1,310kg. There are simply two tenths between their 0-62mph sprints, lower than 10mph distinction of their high speeds, and a solitary mile per gallon of their official gas economic system figures. For such rare-groove scorching hatches, from very completely different producers, a decade aside, you may hardly want for a better-matched pair.

Even with the rain coming in horizontally, itโ€™s no hardship to get soaked gawping on the A1 quattro. From these red-accented headlights and chunky exhaust suggestions, to its pugnacious stance, itโ€™s rally homage perfection. If something, the A1 is just too overt for a quick Audi product, but all the higher for it (bear in mind, this was constructed by Audi itself, not Audi Sport that makes the RS vehicles), with these gorgeous turbofan-style wheels and chunky rear spoiler nonetheless ramping up the angle all these years later. Any color apart from white simply wouldnโ€™t have labored for the little Audi that so desperately desires to be a rally automotive.

On the highway, itโ€™s a shock to find simply how targeted the quattro is, driving firmly and with an exhaust as loud because it appears to be like. Which is spot on for a small scorching hatch, if at odds with the Audi badge. Equally, thereโ€™s completely nothing to configure (even the manufacturing S1 obtained two-mode dampers); itโ€™s simply you, skewed to the best on the improper aspect to succeed in the pedals, a gratifying handbook gearbox and even a brake pedal thatโ€™s agency and progressive. The quattro is undoubtedly nonetheless an Audi (as a result of the inside stays a model of readability) but additionally very a lot a raucous and rorty scorching hatch โ€“ itโ€™s odd to have the 2 collectively. However very welcome.

It feels proper at dwelling in Wales. The steering truly delivers some sensation, which makes inserting the little bruiser an actual pleasure, and the gear ratios are nearly exploitable sufficient to benefit from its burly efficiency. As with the S1, the A1 quattro feels prefer it has an engine bigger than it ought to (in a great way, not the nose-heavy, big-engined-Audi means), all the time capable of go quicker than the state of affairs requires. This automotive truly makes use of a distinct engine to the S1 (the older EA113, as an alternative of the EA888 thatโ€™s nonetheless in use at present), which performs nicely to its old-school character: extra lag means a larger feeling of turbo rush, fizzing round to 7,000rpm with a gravelly, genuine blare thatโ€™s so vastly preferable to any augmented nonsense. Removed from a cynical cash-in-on-heritage, the quattro undoubtedly nonetheless feels the actual deal, like engineers made the 150mph A1 they actually wished to and never โ€“ as it may well typically really feel with an Audi โ€“ the automotive that may promote finest to expertise acquisition specialists.

Time has caught up with it in some areas, nonetheless. Simply sometimes these passive dampers canโ€™t sustain, letting larger bumps crash by way of or shedding physique management in fast modifications of course, proper on the level the place you want whole confidence. This nonetheless feels a better-riding automotive than a brand new S3 with out DCC, however its limits are uncovered considerably by the opposition right here. Identical goes for the Haldex all-wheel drive itself; what a disgrace the A1 quattro couldnโ€™t have been made now, with VWโ€™s torque vectoring rear axle, reasonably than toting an all-wheel drive that stubbornly refuses to desert the entrance finish. Once in a while, all 4 wheels will dictate the place youโ€™re going, however 99 occasions out of 100, the A1 is being dragged out by its entrance finish.

Which doesnโ€™t sound like the tip of the world, till attempting the identical factor in a Yaris with GR-4 all-wheel-drive. That is what quick and four-wheel drive ought to really feel like, with angle dictated by the driving force reasonably than {hardware}. Even in these situations the little Toyota isnโ€™t what anybody would name lairy, however undoubtedly what the driving force does with the wheel and the pedals has extra of a say than within the barely prescriptive Audi. Helped, in fact, by variable torque distribution that may ship as much as 70 per cent of the torque backwards. Thatโ€™s in Sport mode; Monitor makes it 50:50 and Regular has 60 per cent going forwards. Itโ€™s the form of light-weight system the Audi โ€“ and so many related vehicles โ€“ would profit enormously from, with all some great benefits of 4 pushed wheels and valuable few of the drawbacks. As is the Japanese rally rep means, in fact.

Sometimes with these comparisons, itโ€™s the older automotive that feels friskier, lighter, a bit of flimsier and way more alive, however not this time round. The GRโ€™s doorways really feel half the burden of the A1โ€™s as they slam within the gale, and the Audiโ€™s pretty, knurled steel local weather management dials make the Toyotaโ€™s look 20-years outdated. Itโ€™s solely the bigger infotainment display screen โ€“ creating that daft letterbox view with a tiny hole between it and the rear-view mirror โ€“ that makes the Yaris appear extra trendy. Which wasnโ€™t totally anticipated. Even on the left-hand aspect, the Audi stays a nicer (and far decrease) place to sit down.

But when the Yaris is redolent of outdated JDM heroes in having a low-rent inside, then it additionally evokes that wonderful previous with an exhilarating drive. Thereโ€™s not a brand new automotive on the market โ€“ nor many older ones, come to think about it โ€“ that may have higher suited the take a look at situations; compact dimensions, bundles of energy and immense traction guarantee speedy progress and a very good quantity of enjoyable, too.

All the things the A1 appeared to do nicely, the Yaris improves on. Which is what new vehicles usually do, in fact, empirically and objectively, however the Toyota does it from an emotional standpoint as nicely. The G16E-GTS engine is excellent in the best way it revs so freely โ€“ it makes the Audiโ€™s really feel abnormal by comparability. New combustion engines arenโ€™t meant to be this thrilling and interesting. With a wild particular output, distinctive soundtrack and a constructive, mechanical gearchange, the GRโ€™s powertrain may have come straight from 2001. It even wants servicing each 6,000 miles, identical to the nice outdated days.

However in combining some good old school Japanese 4WD enjoyable with trendy facilities, Toyota has created an icon โ€“ the presence of an excellent quick Audi has solely heightened that impression. Because the A1 will get fuzzy and muddled in the direction of its limits, so the Yaris simply retains delivering: mighty brakes, faultless physique management and speedy steering. Brief ratios, sharp responses and the urgency of that engine could make the Yaris appear initially a bit frenzied and nervous, however its full lack of inertia (bar the old-fashioned lag) quickly is sensible. It turns into the GRโ€™s most lovable aspect. Even a equally sized Audi is made to really feel a lot heavier and extra torpid by the insatiable effervescence of this good little Toyota.

Which is saying one thing, actually, as a result of the A1 quattro is a gem. Making so few of them (and asking a lot) has all the time rendered it an outlier, however the older engine and the passive suspension make it extra attention-grabbing than merely an S1 in Stormtrooper stand up. By the requirements of its maker, the quattro is uncooked and unyielding; all the time up for it even for those who arenโ€™t by dint of the noise and relative firmness. However not less than that ensures a definite character, one which Audis with far more horsepower than this have lacked. Itโ€™s believed that simply 11 stay within the UK, and you observed house owners are very pleased with their quattrosย as a collectable asset. Not simply that, although. Additionally as nice driving units and one of many best-looking scorching hatches ever.

However it actually is not any GR, and that could be a shock given how carefully matched they’re on paper. It conforms to no expectations in anyway, combining the most effective of the outdated โ€“ light-weight construct, small dimensions, memorable turbo engine โ€“ with all thatโ€™s required of a automotive in 2022. In doing so, Toyota has created a contemporary marvel, which you in all probability knew already; this take a look at has solely made the purpose extra emphatic. And there are greater than 19 of them. And so theyโ€™re not ยฃ40k. The A1 quattro is a superb quick Audi; the GR Yaris is nice full cease. If you may get one, then you could โ€“ and hope it rains each single day.

SPECIFICATION | 2021 TOYOTA GR YARIS

Engine: 1,618cc, three-cyl turbo
Transmission: 6-speed handbook, all-wheel drive
Energy (hp): [email protected],500rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],000-4,600rpm
0-62mph:ย 5.5 seconds
Prime pace:ย 143mph (electronically restricted)
Weight:ย 1,280-1,310kg (minimal and most)
MPG: 34.4
CO2:ย 186g/km driving
Worth: from ยฃ32,110 (ยฃ34,290 for Comfort Pack, ยฃ35,610 for Circuit Pack like this automotive)

SPECIFICATION | 2012 AUDI A1 QUATTRO

Engine:ย 1,998cc, 4-cyl turbocharged
Transmission:ย 6-speed handbook, all-wheel drive
Energy (hp):ย [email protected],000rpm
Torque (lb ft):ย [email protected],500rpm
0-62mph:ย 5.7sec
Prime pace:ย 152mph
Kerbweight:ย 1,300kg (DIN, with out driver)
MPG:ย 33.2 (NEDC mixed)
CO2:ย n/a
Worth new:ย ยฃ39,930

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