The car will be a strict limited edition of just 333 units worldwide.
Audi says it will be available in left-hand-drive only and go on sale in mainland Europe in the second half of 2012.
Whether it will hit UK roads is yet to be decided – Audi is announcing the car now to gauge whether customer interest justifies importing it. Rumours suggest sufficient demand could yet see a right-hooker version produced.
The power – 70 horses more than the current range-topping 1.4 TFSi petrol engine – comes from a 2-litre turbocharged version of the direct injection unit.
The 252bhp comes in at 6,000rpm while torque of 258lbft is on offer between 2,500 and 4,500rpm. The car passes 62mph from rest in 5.7 seconds, goes on to 152mph and returns a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 33.2mpg.
A six-speed quickshift manual transmission is standard as is, not surprisingly, quattro all-wheel-drive. The multiplate clutch distributes power mainly to the front wheels in normal driving, but can transfer torque to the rear axles in milliseconds if lack of traction demands it. An electronic diff lock brakes any wheel tending to skid.
In keeping with the performance aspect of the car, the Electronic Stability Program boasts a sport mode and can be switched off entirely for using the car on a track. Chassis and steering is also upgraded to suit.
All 333 examples of the car will be finished in a Glacier White metallic paint scheme, with 18-inch turbine design alloy wheels in the same shade.
Bespoke front and rear bumpers and grille, red-painted ‘wings’ in the headlights, a prominent two-colour spoiler and twin 100mm polished exhaust tailpipes distinguish the model from other A1s.
The interior gets a distinct look too – a combination of high gloss black and black Silk Nappa leather with red stitching. S sport seats are fitted, as are brushed stainless steel pedal caps and footrest. And topping several modes to the instrument cluster are white needles and a red-faced speedo.
As befits its range-topping exclusivity this A1 will be lavishly equipped. With Audi yet to decide whether to sell it in the UK, no hint of prices has so far been given.