The new Audi S1 will liven up the premium performance segment of the small car market when it lands in New Zealand in June.
The S1 – which borrows the badge of the famous Audi rally car of the 1980s – will go on sale here as the five-door S1 Sportback. Audi NZ won’t be taking the three-door S1.
“The Sportback range is popular in the market here, so that’s where we are going with the S1,” said Audi NZ marketing executive Fiona Woolley. No word on price yet. The standard A1 Sportback with a 1.4-litre engine starts at $40,800.
The S1 is the supermini of the A1 range and will be officially unveiled at next month’s Geneva motor show. Under the bonnet is basically the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder VW Golf GTi engine, in this case delivering 170kW/370Nm to all four wheels via a standard six-speed manual gearbox and Audi’s quattro system.
Audi claims a 0-100km/h sprint time for the S1 Sportback of 5.9 seconds and a governed top speed of 250km/h. Such figures were not long ago common only to Porsches and Ferraris. Town-and-around fuel use for the S1 is said to be around 7 litres/100km (40mpg) for C02 of 166gr/km.
Performance changes over the regular A1 also extend to the suspension, with firmer dampers all-round to help cornering. The standard Audi Drive Select lets owners vary the dampers and engine response.
Up front, modified pivot bearings sharpen turn-in; at the rear a new four-link set-up replaces the torsion beam suspension used for ‘standard’ A1 models. Alloy wheels are the standard 17-inch, with 18-inch rims as an option. There are also larger brake discs and new settings for the electro-mechanical power steering.
The S1 Sportback gets four exclusive new paint finishes, including the Vegas Yellow in the pictures. Also shown is the quattro exterior body kit that adds striking bumpers and a rear spoiler.
The shape of the headlights has been changed, a new look that will be rolled out across the entire A1 range as part of a facelift later this year. The S1 gets xenons up front and new LED tail-lamps.
The interior is finished largely in black, with dark grey dials in the instrument panel. To brighten things up a quattro interior styling package adds splashes of colour to match the paint. Sports seats are standard; more sportier versions again are optional.