The launch of the £24,900 three-door S1 and the £25,630 S1 Sportback means Audi has kept its promise to turn the limited-edition A1 quattro into a fully fledged series-production model.
Powering the S1 is a turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, which delivers 228bhp and 273lb ft of torque. That’s 24bhp less but 15lb ft more than the older ‘EA113’ turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine used in the A1 quattro, which was produced in limited numbers in 2012.
The S1 will come with a six-speed manual transmission in the UK, plus a Haldex-style multi-plate-clutch four-wheel drive system.
An electronic differential lock has been incorporated within a two-stage electronic stability control system to limit wheelspin and further enhance traction.
Audi quotes a 0-62mph time of 5.8sec for the three-door S1 and 5.9sec for the heavier five-door S1 Sportback. Top speed for both is limited to 155mph. Combined fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are put at 40.4mpg and 162g/km for the three-door and 39.8mpg and 166g/km for the five-door.
Underpinning both S1 models is a revised version of the standard A1’s MacPherson strut front suspension featuring modified pivot bearings, among other detailed changes, in combination with a revamped electro-mechanical steering system. A new four-link arrangement replaces the torsion beam set-up used on lesser A1 models, providing improvements in wheel control.
Standard equipment on UK models will include variable damper control, 17-inch wheels shod with 215/40 tyres and Audi’s Drive Select system, which allows the driver to alter the mapping of the throttle, dampers and steering. The braking set-up includes upgraded 310mm front discs. Among the optional features are 18-inch wheels with more aggressive 225/35 rubber and red brake calipers.