When you’re up against a popular product such as BMW’s MINI, you need to pull out all the stops in order to differentiate your own luxury sub-compact model – at least that’s what Audi thought when it introduced its A1 last year.

But as in all strategy games, sometimes you just need to… cheat! Or at least, create an unfair advantage over your competitors and in Audi’s case that means slotting a highly-tuned 496 bhp 5-cylinder engine under the diminuitive A1’s bonnet.

Audi A1 clubsport quattro mit 496 bhp

Built especially for Austria’s 30th annual Wörtherseetour meeting for fans of VW Group models, which kicks off this week, the one-off A1 clubsport quattro uses a heavily modified version of the RS 3 Sportback’s turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine to deliver electrifying performance which is headlined by a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds and 0-124mph in just 10.9 seconds.

The heart of the Audi A1 clubsport quattro is a classic Audi petrol engine – a five-cylinder unit displacing 2.5 litres with turbocharging and direct fuel injection. Compared with the version used in the Audi TT RS and RS 3 Sportback on which it is based, the output of the TFSI has been increased dramatically to 496 bhp and 660 Nm of torque, with maximum power available between 2,500 and 5,300 rpm.

The turbocharger, intercooler, induction tract and the exhaust line have been systematically tuned for high performance. As on the Audi A4 DTM, the tailpipe is located on the left flank, just in front of the rear wheel.

A1 clubsport quattro - interior

Another area in which the A1 clubsport quattro shines is in its overall weight of just 1,390 kg. This enables it to surge from 50-70mph in fourth gear in just 2.4 seconds.

A six-speed manual transmission and quattro permanent all-wheel drive, both taken from the TT RS and enhanced, deliver the power to all four wheels. Top speed is governed at 155mph.

The Audi showcar rolls on 255/30 low-profile tyres mounted on 19-inch alloy wheels with a unique turbine design. Sitting behind the wheels are large, internally ventilated disc brakes. Up front, six-piston callipers grab perforated carbon fibre-ceramic discs. Large steel discs are mounted on the rear axle. The coilover suspension of the A1 clubsport quattro features adjustable compression and rebound damping.

Experience the Audi A1 clubsport quattro interactively

The Audi A1 clubsport quattro can also be experienced exclusively in Need for Speed World (http://world.needforspeed.com), where it will be available to all players as a free in-game rental car from June 1 – 4.

Need for Speed World is the Play4Free online PC racing game from EA, in which players take part in races in a giant multiplayer world.