The 220bhp Audi S1, set to rival the Renault Clio RS, has been spotted undergoing testing.
The car is expected to launch in 2014 following a debut at the Geneva motor show next year. Audi's new entry-level hot hatch will get quattro all-wheel drive, so expect a 0-62mph time of about 6.5sec.
Alongside the launch of the S1 Audi will introduce a facelift for the standard A1. This S1 test mule reveals that the A1’s revised look is inspired by the larger A3. Changes will include new front and rear bumpers, an A3-inspired front headlight design and a new front grille.
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.
Audi's 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. The car has previously been spotted testing at the Nurburgring.