Audi’s rival for the Mini Cooper S, the S1, has been caught undisguised near the Nürburgring in Germany ahead of its debut at the Paris motor show late next month.
As expected, the S1’s look is borrowed from the standard car’s S-line package, including lowered suspension, 17in alloy wheels and a small spoiler at the trailing edge of the roof.
The model spied here gives away its identity with a larger exhaust, while our spy photographer noted the S1 had a much louder and more distinctive sound than the rest of the A1 range.
Audi has yet to confirm any technical details on the car, but it’s understood to use a tuned version of the VW Group’s 1.4-litre turbocharged engine, producing around 180bhp and 184lb ft.
The S1 will be front-wheel drive, making it the first S-badged Audi to do without a quattro drivetrain. The gearbox will be a seven-speed double-clutch unit, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Expect the S1 to match the Cooper S’s performance figures; Audi technical development boss Michael Dick has said the firm is aiming for a 0-62mph time of less than seven seconds and a top speed of more than 140mph.