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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Audi S1

Overall verdict
Well done Audi, this one's a proper little stonker: fast, small, fun, a 4wd hot hatch done properly.


Gutsy turbocharged engine, manual gearbox, poise and agility, design and quality


It's not far off £30k once you've got the spec right


What is it?

It’s a surprise, mainly. We’ve once again got used to Audi road cars being fast and efficient but rarely enthralling, (see the latest S3 for evidence of that), so when the little S1 came along our hopes weren’t that buoyant. But it turned out to be a right little bundle of energetic fun. A 227bhp, 4wd pocket rocket that knew exactly how to get itself around a corner. Marvellous.

Underneath is the familiar 2.0-litre turbo engine from the Golf GTI, but here it has a much smaller footprint on the road, meaning better agility, and, of course, less weight to hoof around. And, rare these days, a decent six-speed manual. There is no S-tronic. Yet, if at all. 

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
40 TFSI S Line Competition 5dr S Tronic
6.5s 136g/km 47.1 200 £25,670
The cheapest
25 TFSI Technik 5dr
10.8s 107g/km 61.4 95 £18,230
The greenest
25 TFSI SE 5dr [Tech Pack]
10.8s 104g/km 95 £19,150