It’s been rumoured for a long time but at last it’s officially confirmed – Audi’s range of S performance cars is about to get a new junior member. It’s the Audi S1 and it takes the best of the ‘S’ formula and concentrates it into the A1’s compact form.
Power comes from a 231PS version of Audi’s 2.0-litre TFSI. With 370Nm of torque at its disposal it will fling the S1 to 62mph in just 5.8 seconds and carry on to a top speed of 155mph, although the blistering acceleration is helped by the Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.
There is a host of changes to suspension and steering designed to sharpen the responses of the A1, including adaptive dampers and four-link rear suspension. The gearbox is a six-speed manual, which will please those old enough to remember the original rally-bred Group B S1 from the 1980s.
Despite the performance potential the S1 manages to score well on the official economy figures. Fuel economy is rated at 40.3mpg with emissions of 162 g/km.
Cosmetic upgrades include 17-inch wheels (18s are one of the many optional extras), black highlights, quattro stickers and new lighting designs. Two exclusive shades of paint have been added to brighten up the S1, namely Vegas yellow and Sepang blue.
Working out competition for the S1 is tricky. It’s in the same class as the Fiesta and Clio but its performance is a class above, easily eclipsing the likes of the ST and Renaultsport models. Sadly the S1 eclipses them on price too as a 3-door S1 will set you back £24,900 and the 5-door Sportback £25,630.
Order books open in mid-March and deliveries begin in Spring.