Prototype versions of the long-mooted Audi S1 have been spied for the first time testing in Germany. The four-wheel-drive S1 is set to be launched in the UK during the second half of 2013, following a likely world debut at next year’s Geneva motor show.
The Renault Clio RS-rivalling S1 is expected to run a new turbocharged 2.0-litre version of Audi’s in-house-developed EA888 engine.
The four-cylinder unit, complete with the German car maker’s patented valve-lift system for continuously variable valve control, is set to provide the hottest A1 model with around 220bhp. That’s 38bhp more than the turbocharged, 1.4-litre, four-cylinder-powered Audi A1 1.4 TFSI, but 32bhp less than the limited-run A1 quattro model, all 333 of which have been built in left-hand drive.
Channelling the S1 engine’s reserves will be either a standard six-speed manual transmission or optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox with a Haldex-style multi-plate clutch four-wheel-drive system. Straight-line performance promises to be strong, with 0-62mph posted in around 6.5sec.