Admit it, at some point in time you’ve fantasized about taking a car the size of, oh I don’t know, an Audi A1, and sticking in an engine capable of something like 170kW. You’ve fantasized and planned and plotted, and then at long last you’ve come to your senses and decided that you’d either get yourself killed or your wife would never let you get away with spending the kids’ college fund on something so stupid. So then, I suppose we ought to thank Audi for being crazy enough to do it! Meet the Audi S1.
Yes, S1. You read it right. No, not the original rally-spec S1, but the new Audi S1, revealed yesterday ahead of the Geneva Motor Show next month. This is what Audi has been getting at with their uber-vague video teasers recently, and it was well worth the wait. The new S1, available in 3-door and Sportback guise, is based off the compact Audi A1, but it has been fitted with a 2.0-litre TFSI engine developing 170kW and 370Nm, and mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. This makes the S1 good enough to sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 5.8 seconds, thanks to the Haldex AWD system – branded as quattro in this case – and good for a top speed of 250km/h. The S1 is still capable of sipping a meagre 7.1l/100km though, despite all that power.
Over and above the engine upgrade and quattro inclusion, the S1 receives extensively reworked suspension over the standard A1 as well as an all new electromechanical power steering system. Larger brakes have also been included (310mm front discs) with red calipers and an optional S1 logo emblazoned on them, housed within 215/40 R17 tyres on 17-inch alloys. Optional 18-inch tyres are available.
Styling on the S1 has been jacked up to a new level. The tiny hatch receives the signature quad pipe treatment, in addition to new front and rear bumpers and side sills. The S1 features all-new xenon plus headlights, and the LED tail-lights feature new, horizontal graphics. In addition, customers can order the quattro exterior styling package, which gives their S1 a more aggressive look, the likes of which Audi aren’t exactly known for. The quattro styling pack includes features such as quattro graphics and the large dual-look roof spoiler.
The interior of the S1 is a combination of black and dark greys, with stainless steel accents such as the pedal caps. Standard sport seats are thrown out in favour of S sport seats with integrated head restraints as standard. A quattro styling package is also on offer for the interior, which adds a bit of colour to the mix in the centre console, around the air vents, and on the back of the S sport seats.
Audi has confirmed the S1 will arrive in South Africa in the 4th quarter of 2014. We’ll be waiting with the quattro interior and exterior package boxes ticked on a 3-door S1. Oh, and Audi, thanks for going nuts on this one, we love you for it!