It may seem unnecessary to pick fault with a cabin as immaculately appointed and finished as the S1’s. There’s as much room in here as any reasonable buyer would expect.
Which isn’t to say that there’s a lot, but probably enough for a typical second-car-of-the-household pattern of use. Material quality levels, to both the eye and the touch, make the S1 as distinguished as any Audi in any class in the market. The cool, technical, aluminium-accented ambience of the S1’s interior is very upmarket indeed.
But there’s very little performance drama to whet the appetite here. This is the understated fast Audi treatment done by the book; it just happens to be in miniature. Trouble is that hot hatchback convention is to cram performance flavour into every last fitting.
There are no boost gauges, lap timers, carbonfibre cupholders or brightly coloured go-faster trim stripes inside the S1. Peppering the cabin with a lot of that sort of paraphernalia wouldn’t be very ‘premium’, you’d admit, but it lacks a bit of a sense of occasion.
From a functional perspective, the cabin is harder to fault. The driving position is good, the controls well sited and the instruments clear. It’s a shame that Audi couldn’t have found room on the transmission tunnel for the MMI controller and system shortcut keys though, which instead sit high on the stack, less conveniently.
Because of the downsized scale of the interior, this may be difficult to spot in our photos, but the seats could also be bigger and they offer relatively little lateral and under-thigh support.
The equipment tally, however, is quite generous. The S1 comes with all the standard equipment found on a Sport-trimmed A1, including Audi's 6.5in infotainment system complete with DAB radio and Bluetooth and USB connectivity, although sat nav can be added on its own for £570 or as part of the Technology pack for £1495, which includes numerous online services. While the S1 adds 17in alloys to the package, sports suspension, progressive steering, xenon headlights, an aggressive bodykit, automatic lights and wipers, and climate control.
To make the S1 more sporty, Audi has added to the S1 Competition trim which adds 18in alloys, numerous gloss black trim and a double-blade rear spoiler.