Speed Week: The Hot Hatches
Aspirational, affordable, and with blistering performance. And perfect for the school run. What more could you possibly want?
Posted: 28 Jul 2014
You feel the 4WD pushing and pulling in all the right places, and the quick-witted diffs work hard. It's constantly searching for grip, but it does so with a smile on its face, unlike other Audis that joylessly batter the road. Perhaps that's what makes it so likeable, and a contender for outright victory - not just among the hatchbacks but among all the cars at Speed Week. Which is why it was a slight shame when, after a brisk-ish lap in the hands of editor-in-chief Charlie Turner, it returned to the pits slightly on fire...
Conspiracy theorists may say this was a ploy to kill off the Audi and make room for his beloved, definitely-not-shonky Caterham in the final five. But he's the boss, so obviously nobody would suggest such a thing. Besides, prime suspects were the tiny brakes, which do a good enough job of stopping you, however, on more than one occasion became smoky. But no... it turns out - after the car was collected and examined by Audi - that an incorrectly installed hose had interfered with a heat shield near the catalyst. Extinguisher duty fell to Fireman Sam Philip. Complete meltdown averted, but still game over for the S1. It was in with a good shout, too. (Audi is currently examining all RHD S1s and replacing the hose and shield where necessary, before deliveries commence).