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The Audi S1 is back!
Bobble hat enthusiasts, calm down: this isn’t that Audi S1. No, the company with one of the world’s most legendary rally cars has used its iconic nomenclature to sell a city car. But this city car is actually really fast. And powerful. Meet the new S1.
Audi hasn’t shied away from the familial connection, referencing the all-conquering Rörhl-machine as a predecessor, but we’d rather it referenced the ice-conquering A1 Quattro we drove a couple of years ago. Because that little thing was excellent.
The similarities are clear. This new S1 features a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 228bhp and 272lb ft of torque (the A1 Quattro had 250bhp and 258lb ft from a turbo’d 4cyl), a six-speed manual gearbox, permanent all-wheel-drive with a hydraulic multi-plate clutch on the rear axle, an electronic diff lock, ESC and a revised suspension setup (modified pivot bearings on the front, a four-link rear) with adaptive damping.
There’s more similarity between this new S1 and the A1 Quattro: much speed. The new Audi S1 will accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds (5.9s for the S1 Sportback), and rock on to a top speed of 155mph, while sipping an official 33mpg and emitting 162 carbon dioxides.
The S1 gets huge 310mm brakes - with optional red callipers - and 17-inch wheels. There are Xenon headlights, new exterior detailing on the front and rear bumpers, side sills and exhaust, four new exterior colours, and an optional roof spoiler, which you should definitely option. Of course, there are many other things you can option - this being a modern Audi - including MMI sat nav, internet providings, Bose surround sound and other such things.
Prices are expected to start at around £25,000. Depending how you look at it, that’s (a) an awful lot of money for a Polo-based city car or (b) not bad value for perhaps the ultimate pocket rocket. Could this be the ultimate real-world, cold-weather hot hatch?