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.