Audi S1 Makes You Want It

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Autocar is so certain that Audi will whip up an “S”-badged version of its forthcoming A1 city car, they’re touting specs and renderings of a car that will make hot hatch lovers weak in the knees. The S1 will compete with such miniscule forces of nature as the JCW Mini and Alfa MiTo by offering 200hp, 300nm and AWD. In a package that makes the GTI look like a lumbering beast. A tuned version of the turbo- and super-charged 1.4 TFSI engine that is drawing rave reviews from European buff-books will hook up to a seven speed dual-clutch box, sending 60 percent of the power to the rear wheels. Zero to 60 should come in six seconds, reckons Autocar, while the top speed will be limited at 155 mph. And fuel consumption should stay around the 30 mpg (US) range. Throw in lowered and magnetically-damped suspension, 19 inch wheels, S-line visual cues and a possible cell phone integration option (ala KEI), and Autocar’s verdict that the S1 will be a “technological tour de force” is hard to argue with. Of course this means the price of admission is steep. $36k (25k Pounds Sterling) is a brutal entry point for a hot hatch, even if it packs more technology than an F-16. And then there’s the question of whether it will be sold in the US. Or at all, given the state of the economy. On paper though, the S1 is a near apotheosis of the hot-hatch form. I’ll take two.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • BMW325I BMW325I on Jan 07, 2009

    If that price equated to free for the first 3 year service with approval and the lowest insurance rate in its class it would be a steal. But unfortunately its not the case.

  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Jan 07, 2009

    I am not sure about the pricing. British prices do not translate into US for a couple of reasons. First UK prices include about 20% tax. Second, for continental mfgs. need to make limited runs with RHD. (Japanese home market covers that, but continental companies have limited access).

  • Damian2050 Damian2050 on Jan 07, 2009

    Something you have got to remember about UK pricing is that compared to the rest of Europe is that the UK has relativley lower tax than other countries. Therefore the motor manufactures, to make up their losses in high tax countries charge more pre-tax for a vehicle in the UK. Look at the amount of imported cars brought into the UK. Then the manufacturers said we will not gaurentee them. The EU then said this is illegal so the manufactures said OK no problem, we will increase the price. Ergo end of the grey import market. For example a Renault Megane Coupe £15000 in Northern Ireland, imported from Republic of Ireland £10000 all taxes paid. Who loses? Not the companies, not the EU but the consumer. Check out how MB etc instructed their dealers in Europe to refuse any orders for RHD vehicles and this caused the EU to react. Trying to compare US and Europe prices is futile because somehow a vehicle with a base base price of $10000 becomes £20000 or euro 20000. ps sorry about the spelling

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Jan 08, 2009

    Oh gawd, that thing is ugly.