- Audi's new S1 is the latest entrant in the hot hatch world
- Offers 2- or 4-door body styles; 228 hp; 0 to 60 in under six seconds
- Likely won't make it to the United States
The hot hatchback world will soon add a new contender. That would be the high-performance Audi S1, which was recently revealed online ahead of the sporty hatchback's official debut at next month's Geneva Auto Show.
Revealed in a striking shade of yellow, the all-new S1 offers a high-performance version of the popular A1 that debuted in Europe in 2010. Like the A1, the S1 will be offered in two body styles: a 2-door hatchback and a 4-door hatchback. Owing to hatchback-loving European tastes, a sedan isn't available.
The S1's most important feature is under the hood. That's where Audi has shoved a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder tuned to 228 horsepower and a whopping 279 lb-ft of torque -- a big jump over today's engines, which range in power from 85 to 182 horses. A 6-speed manual is the only transmission available, and all S1 models will use Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system. The result is a lightning-quick 0-to-60 time of less than six seconds.
On the outside, the S1 boasts a new look that matches its muscular new powertrain. There's a sporty front end with an aggressive front bumper, a rear diffuser with quad exhausts and aggressive alloy wheels that aren't available on the regular A1. The S1 also offers standard xenon headlights and two new exterior colors: Vegas Yellow and Sepang Blue.
Inside, the S1 is also beefed up compared to the standard car with a flat-bottomed steering wheel, "S" badging, aluminum pedals and grippy sport seats. Like many performance cars, the S1 also includes contrasted stitching and body-colored accessories throughout its cabin.
But if you're into hot hatches, don't get too excited just yet. Like the standard A1, the S1 is unlikely to make it to the U.S. market, even though the hot hatchback segment is heating up with several new contenders. Instead, Americans looking for a high-performance compact Audi will have to admire the S1 from afar and enjoy its larger sibling, the S3, which is expected to reach dealers later this year.
What it means to you: The all-new Audi S1 is a tempting car. And if Audi would bring it to the States, we'd love to spend some time behind the wheel.