Audi S1 spied at the 'ring

25 Aug, 2010 1:04pm Luke Madden

Audi's new baby gets the hot hatch treatment, pointing the way towards a range-topping S1.

The new MINI-rivalling A1 hasn’t even hit UK roads yet, but Audi is already working on a barnstorming S1 to go head-to-head with the Cooper S.

These spy shots show an A1 test mule fitted with the S line bodykit which, with the exception of a few minor cosmetic tweaks, provides a good idea of how the hot hatch will shape up.

The test car’s wheels, with their extreme low-profile tyres, will make way for 18-inch twin five-spoke alloys unique to the S1. And to further mark out the newcomer from lesser models, it will get chrome door mirrors, a gloss black diffuser and S1 badges.

Inside, a racy makeover brings bolstered sports seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a mixture of leather and Alcantara trim as standard. Under the bonnet is a tuned version of the 1.4-litre supercharged and turbocharged petrol engine already available in the A1.

This is the same unit as used in the SEAT Ibiza Cupra, VW Polo GTI and Skoda Fabia vRS – but in the hot Audi, power is set to rise from 178bhp to nearer 200bhp. That will guarantee impressive straight-line performance, with 0-62mph completed in less than seven seconds and a top speed in excess of 140mph.

Only one gearbox option will be offered – a seven-speed DSG with steering wheel paddles as standard. In a first for Audi’s S range, the hatch will be available in front-wheel drive only.

Instead of fitting quattro 4WD, the company is relying on an electronic system to improve cornering and grip by braking an inside wheel when the car starts to veer off course. It will also ride 15mm lower to the ground than the standard 
A1, on sports suspension.

The S1 will debut at March’s Geneva Motor Show, and is set to go on sale soon after, priced from just under £20,000.

Disqus - noscript

I never thought Audi could stoop so low for this S1 looks so cheap it could be assembled from biscuit tins. I've been buying solely Audis since 1984 and so I'm now beginning to think I maybe should give BMW or Mercedes a consideration from now on.

I agree - it doesn't look much, does it? The new Polo looks much sportier and neater, for instance. Why not try a Skoda - much better made than any of your other choices and much less expensive? Why pay big money for names that no longer deliver? Skoda has much more heritage than any other VAG marque and these days they look classy and are tidily finished as well. Or you should try the Phaeton if you need a big luxury car. Much better than its Audi cousin, ten times better than any Bimmer.

jgvpc....Dont be daft ! If an S3 didnt bother you, why would this?

Front looks good, but back lights look dated and cheap - hopefully one of the cosmetic tweaks will be the rear lights. Those lights would put me off buying that car - also having seperate twin exhausts looks so much more sporty than the cheap looking twin exhausts shown on the car- so another think that would improve its look. Sort those out and that would probably be my next car!

You people do make me laugh.. Assembled from buscuit tins and you can see that from the picture, go and purchase a bmw or mercedes, you will truely know what cheap feels like, that statment alone says the kind of person you are. Does not look much?! what do you expect a Bugatti veyron. Oh yes look at the skoda, you might as well get your pipe and slippers out at the same time and purchase a caravan. Classy yea right!! try the Phaeton and lose £10k the moment you drive it out of the showroom. thats why you don`t see any on the road!! You don`t know what your talking about! And finally The lights look cheap, ok you are obviously an expert in plastic technology are you? Of course i would not purchase a car either because of this and i agree it must have an exhaust either side. Thats so important and will make the car drive and handle so much better. I am sure Audi will consider your suggestions for at least 1 second i thank you all for the laugh this morning.

Where does it say anywhere in the text that this is the final prodcution version and it will look exactly like this? This is obviuosly a test mule and the version we get will be different than what we can see here. I wouldn't base buying one on 2 pictures months before it's even released!! I am beting it will look a lot nicer than a mini cooper s

Common sense rules. Cracks me up when people gas without any thought?!
Stubbo. Couldn't of put it better myself!
Idiot bods on forums, trying to compare absolute jing bang motors with some of the more established premium brands?!
I mean Skoda. As good as they seem to be these days, try your hardest not to get too carried away with your fantasy's?! As for VW Phaeton v Bmw/Merc. Think Chitty Bang Bang v Spaceship- or somewhere there abouts- different lick trust me. Ride, handling, tech, basic feel good riding around in su em spesh!

Anyway, all things considered not a bad little effort. Plus you know that once its official, everything will be nicely resolved. Nice work Audi!

First off, it is a test mule. When has a test mule been tested in showroom spec? The difuser is there for a purpose, to test how well the car drives at speed. The wheels may make it into production, but the tyres are being evaluated for road holding and cornering grip. The rest of the cosmetics, will be revealed when the S1 is launched. What has Audi done in the design department recently, that has not looked superb? Now get a grip!

When you buy a certain car manufacturer's models for over a quarter of a century you will earn a position to make a judgment call on the direction in which that particular manufacturer appears to be heading. That S1's appearance alone suggests to me that Audi has lowered their quality standards to such a degree that I would be embarrassed to see one on the road and therefore I am no longer attracted to make further investments in their products.

It's one thing to try to contend with the present economic conditions by offering an option to those who either don't have the wherewithal or who have decided to no longer spend as much on their cars, but Audi should realise by now that the looks and the quality build drivers see on the road, not in showrooms, is what has attracted potential customers to further investigate their products in the showroom and possibly test drive them. The S1, as shown in this article, fails on both counts.

Incidentally, when you don't agree with another person's viewpoint, to have to resort to insults only serves to reveal the type of individuals you are.

Shite, it doesnt take long.....to degrade into a slanging match. Have a little respect for another's posts, and if a guy can put both feet in his mouth at once, let him. Dont try and get in as well and tell him how 'stupid' he is. Grown men splitting hairs is not a good look.
Not nearly as good a look as this mule. Hope they leave those wheels on the final car, so infinitely better looking than boring common-as 5 spokers. There you go, my opinion. I'd be disappointed you couldnt couple 200bhp with 4WD, but I suppose the weight killed a big slug of performance. It will certainly be an alternative to a MINI Cooper though, given Audi's impeccable build quality, and bench mark interiors. And which car maker, in total isolation, is absolutely on a roll with their sales?? So, no doubt, it will sell. Please correct me if I'm wrong, [for the Skoda knockers], but dont Skoda and Audi now have genes-in-common?? Errm, and in this very online mag, their very recently announced Car of the Year was a.........yes, that'll be it, a Skoda. Off the point, those cars have to have something going for them now.........

Ignoring the rubbish spouted above...

Its very much a mini Audi (excuse the pun) from the outside. The corporate Grille and Rear look are all there. It also has a subtle level of visual aggression added as per the rest of the "S" range.

However my problem being that it isn't offering anything over the Polo GTi or the other models. They are all too similar now, the platform sharing is now becoming a joke.

It's strange that Audi are also sticking with DSG only. Any reviews of the Polo GTi mentioned the DSG only as a negative.

I think the VAG range are similar in that they are being marketed as mass appeal cars, even their sporty models. They are too soft. Their gearbox options seem to confirm this.

I'm not brand bashing, I don't claim affiliation with any brand. I just find alot of the VAG brand disappointing, overpriced and unfocused.

I'm not doing a blatant comparison, but with models like these the Mini, Fiesta, Clio etc etc are going to become the alternatives for the keen driver.

AEX 1334
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links