Audi releases info on “S1 lite”

Audi A1 1.4 TFSI

The Audi S1 mystery has been solved. For now, at least. Today, new information has been released about a 136kW A1 which Audi now wants us to call a 1.4 TFSI. In theory this is the S1 that has been expected for several months, but it appears Ingolstadt had doubts about adorning a front-wheel drive car with an “S” badge. Probably a wise move too, saving that nomenclature for quattro equipped cars only.

As the name suggests the most powerful A1 model to date is powered by a 1.4 litre four cylinder engine that employs both supercharging and turbocharging technology. The supercharger gives the car a nudge along from around 1500–2400rpm, while the turbo gets serious from 3500rpm. Seems like there’s a bit of a gap there, but the proof will be in the driving.

In addition to its peak power the A1 1.4 TFSI offers 250Nm of torque. It’s pretty much the same unit found in the current Polo GTI. Like the Polo, the A1 can sprint to 100km/h in just 6.9 seconds. When driven economically you should be using around 5.9 litres of fuel for every 100km travelled.

For now, and possibly always, the car can only be bought with a 7 speed S tronic double clutch transmission. Other gadgets fitted include an electronic limited slip diff, as well as the option of xenons with LED daytime running lights, a choice of two navigation systems and a 14 speaker Bose stereo.

Audi has been a bit light on with pictures for now, so we should expect to see more on that front when the car makes its debut at the Paris Motor Show. That also means we have to start keeping an ear out for new rumours of an all-new S1, possibly, or perhaps hopefully, powered by a 2.0 litre turbo and, of course, fitted with a quattro drivetrain. Maybe, maybe not?


Audi S1 faces identity crisis

Audi S1 rendering

Contradiction and confusion are the order of the day in regards to the future of the Audi S1. It seems certain that an A1-based model with a 1.4 TFSI engine producing in the order of 130kW driving the front wheels only will be made. But what badge will it wear? Will this be the first “S” badged Audi that does not include an all-wheel drive quattro system?

According to Autocar, yes it will. On Tuesday they reported, “Audi has officially confirmed this month’s Paris motor show as the location for the launch of its new S1 hot hatch. The S1 will be front-wheel drive, making it the first S-badged Audi to do without a quattro drivetrain.”

Sounds pretty definitive, right. Well, on Wednesday Australian media outlet carsales published an equally confident report stating, “Audi has tried to quietly kill off its upcoming S1 just weeks before its scheduled launch in southern France.

Insiders have revealed that while the car will still be built, it will be stripped of its S1 badges and will be known as an A1 1.4 TFSI instead.

The final nail in its coffin was that Volkswagen Group boss Martin Winterkorn didn’t want its front-wheel drive status diluting an ‘S’ car line up that has been, up to now, exclusively all-wheel drive.”

The no quattro, no “S” badge theory does make sense. What doesn’t make sense is the number of interwebz articles confirming the launch of an S1 at Paris and just one report stating it won’t be happening. If you see any other reports discussing the cancellation of the S1, please post a link in the comments section below.

[Source: Autocar & carsales]


Audi S1 plans all-wheel drive attack on MINI JCW

Audi S1 quattro
Audi S1 quattro

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.

Source: AutoExpress