Audi S1 Sportback (2014) first official pictures

Published: 11 February 2014

This is the new 2014 Audi S1 that’s set to cause some serious embarrassment on our roads. Why? The smallest car in the Audi range has been fitted with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four with 228bhp and a 0-62mph time of 5.9sec. That’s one quick small hauler…

What’s the S1’s role?

The S1 is the most potent, ballistic and capable version of the fashionable hatch, taking aim at the likes of the Abarth 500 Essesse and the Mini Cooper JCW. It’s named after the legendary 1984 Sport Quattro S1 that won both the World Rally Championship and Audi’s first Pikes Peak victory in 1985 and, in the top of its Xenon headlamps and S-line bumpers, there’s an optional ‘Quattro’ styling pack that pays homage to the legendary rally beast.

The only genuine modern rally link for the 2014 S1 is that it shares its platform with the current WRC titleholder, the VW Polo…

What are the ingredients of this baby boomer?

As well as following the small-car, big engine formula to a tee, the S1 has also been fitted with quattro all-wheel drive – an Audi brand signature, of course – which should give it loads of grip and a better launch. Yet we can’t help thinking what this car could’ve been like without the weight of that all-wheel drive.

Audi hasn’t given us the new S1’s weight figure yet, but it would surely be even faster. Perhaps that’s a deliberate attempt not to encroach on the Audi S3: in fact, the S1 is faster then the first gen Audi S3 to 62mph, and only 0.2sec behind the recently replaced model’s 5.6sec claim. It’s indecently quick.

What other tech changes have been made to transform A1 to S1?

As well as the 2.0-litre turbo four, with its 228bhp and 273lb ft of torque, the S1 comes with a larger (12.2in) front brakes inside 17in alloys, an electronic diff lock, stiffer suspension and recalibrated steering. The rear suspension has also been upgraded, with a four-link set-up in place of the standard A1’s ‘compound link’ (re: beam) arrangement.

What about equipment?

That exterior treatment is contrasted with dark tones in the cabin. There’s also grey-backed S-line instruments, as well as touches including stainless steel pedals and sport seats with integrated head restraints. There’s also sat-nav, BOSE audio, and Internet access via the car’s own WiFi hot spot. 

When can I get one, and how much?

The S1 arrives sometime this spring, and while Audi hasn’t confirmed prices, bank on around £25k for the three-door manual version. The S1 also comes in Sportback, which will be more again, as well as DSG versions. It’s not what you’d call great value, but that’s the price of exclusivity. For a closer look, follow CAR’s coverage of the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.