AutoExpress has again led with images that will excite hot hatch enthusiasts. News has been around for a while about the Audi S1, but initial speculation suggested the S1 would be powered by the 2-litre turbo found in the current Mk5 Golf GTI. This latest report says the S1 will be powered by a 200bhp+ 1.4-litre twin charge engine, similar to the one used in the new Polo GTI. Of course, the S badging means the S1 will get that power to the ground using Audi’s familiar quattro technology.
From an Australian perspective, the spunky S1 looks to be the only car to match the MINI John Cooper Works in both driving thrills and desirability. While the feisty Renault Clio 197 might push both cars to the limit on tight mountain roads, it can’t match the cachet of either brand, let alone the build quality.
The aggressively styled S1 looks sensational and I, for one, can’t wait to test the car’s driving capabilities. I will have to wait a while though. The A1, the car on which the S1 will be based, is still over 12 months away from European release, so we’re likely to be looking at late 2011, at best, for the S1 to reach Australian shores.
Along with the supercharged and turbocharged technology of the engine, the S1 is said to showcase more of Audi’s gadgets, such as full LED lighting, a 7-speed S-tronic transmission and magnetic ride suspension, which will be electronically adjustable from inside the cabin. Most surprising, however, is the claim the quattro system will have a rearward bias, sending up to 60 per cent its power to the rear wheels under regular conditions.
Premium products command premium pricing, of course, so don’t expect much change from AU$55,000 by the time time you drive the S1 off the showroom floor. Something I look forward to doing myself when the opprtunity presents itself.