Audi has finally revealed the mystery vehicle hidden in their delivery truck. As predicted, Audi will add an entry-level model to the S-line of vehicles with the performance subcompact Audi S1 and S1 Sportback. Both vehicles are expected to be unveiled at the 2014 Geneva auto show that starts March 4.
Under the hood of the three-door Audi S1 and S1 Sportback is the company's familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, in this case producing 231 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Teaser videos leading up to the car’s reveal have shown that the hot hatch will be equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, but there is no word yet on whether Audi's seven-speed dual-clutch is a possibility. Despite the Audi S1’s peppy 5.8-second 0-62 mph sprint (5.9 seconds for the four-door S1 Sportback) and 155-mph top speed, fuel economy tops out at an impressive 33 mpg. Quattro all-wheel-drive comes standard — a first in the segment, according to Audi.
These performance figures are very close to that of the limited-run Audi A1 Quattro, which also utilized the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission. The A1 Quattro had a 0.1-second faster 0-62 mph sprint thanks to its 256 hp, but less torque with 258 lb-ft on tap. The Quattro all-wheel-drive system is fitted with both wheel-selective torque control via a rear-axle-mounted multi-plate clutch, as well as brake intervention technology on the inside wheels. Audi revised the suspension system for a stiffer and sportier ride, tuning the front-axle pivot bearings and steering for better response. At the rear, the standard compound link suspension is eschewed in favor of a more rigid four-link system. Disc brakes are included all around, and customers can opt for 18-inch wheels over the standard 17-inchers.
Perhaps most intriguing about the new Audi S1 and S1 Sportback are its looks. With the optional exterior styling package and contrasting color scheme, the S1 models feature a roof-mounted spoiler, quad exhaust, sculpted side skirts and bumpers, and a rear taillight panel in contrasting color. Wide rectangular front intakes, xenon headlamps, and LED rear lights contribute to the sporty and premium formula. On the interior, an optional styling package continues the color-contrast theme with accented air vents, upper window outlines, and gear shift console. Optional technology upgrades include keyless entry, navigation, and Audi’s Wi-Fi-capable connectivity system.
Pricing for the S1 will start at €29,950, while the four-door S1 Sportback will cost €30,800 (about $40,700 and $41,900, respectively). The Europe-only Audi S1 Sportback will definitely shake up the performance subcompact segment when it makes its expected debut at the Geneva auto show in March.