Audi could only now be totally committing to the US compact vehicle marketplace with a range of A3 designs, but it is acquired far much more little automobile expertise than most Americans comprehend, and its offerings get even tinier, too. Back in 2010, Audi leapt into the subcompact premium fray – in all markets but the United States, Canada and China – with its A1. The A1 loved ones has offered all proper, but not quite as nicely as was expected, most likely due to its cost when optioned up. (It also isn’;t going to support that the Volkswagen Polo is a excellent automobile on the identical architecture and charges a lot much less.)
But Audi appears compelled to make substantial-buck S trims of every thing nowadays, so right on schedule, I have scored seat time in its new S1 Quattro. Underneath its gumdrop-colored hood is the quite well-known 2.-liter TFSI motor. In this trim, it really is excellent for 228 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque amongst one,600 and 3,000 rpm. That is fairly a whole lot of gumption for this small blaster – enough electrical power for -60 in just 5.7 seconds.
My drive was initially supposed come about on a sub-zero frozen lake in Sweden, only Audi forgot to phone Mom Nature and inquire her to hold off on springtime. It would have turned into a slush drive and then a submarine test had I been told to stick to the unique prepare, so it was dusty, soggy and gravel-y pavement rather, which turned out to be a far better genuine-globe test anyhow. Plus, the auto acquired even cuter when it was filthy.
- Whilst the A1 is meant for mass consumption by men and women who may well otherwise purchase a Mini Cooper or a Fiat 500, the S1 will get specific colours, wheel designs, exterior and interior Quattro type packages, and feels overall like a denser and much more insulating auto. There is substance right here for your price premium, which would be just about at $ 30,000 for starters if this pocket sportster ever came to the US (which we have no cause to suspect it will).
- For starters, it seems both fun and significant thanks to the way its bold colour palate (this automobile is Viper green) plays off its blackened roof, pillars and its nasty-seeking rear wing.
- Fit and finish is quite convincing, extremely Audi. In truth, in this kind of a tight package, the “Audi impact” appears even more intimate.
- S sport suspension is regular right here, and has been expertly calibrated to locate the pleased medium between sporting and cushion. The 18-inch wheels and Dunlop winter treads fitted to my vehicle did not skimp on comfort, both.
- At ignition, the sportier exhaust frumps to daily life with its proud and made the decision boil. The nice component is that the determined larger-auto voice does not thin out as well considerably as the revs climb.
- The newly taken care of VW 6-pace manual is outstanding to fiddle back and forth, which is a really good point considering that the S1 will only ever be provided with this transmission. No S-tronic will be created accessible, which is a gifted but slightly confusing option for this fashion-conscious crowd.
- The S1 is much better on gravel and scruffy tarmac than on the scorching laps I did on a paved circuit. Tossing it loosely close to off-piste showed the strengths of Audi’;s most current front-biased Haldex Quattro – if you make the torque-shifting assembly function tougher to balance factors out, it excels. On the clean things, even with traction and stability manage extinguished and Audi Drive Select in Dynamic mode, the 2,900-pound tyke felt a bit slower to react.
- This Audi MMI is the most fundamental smaller-display version and it functions fine, no significant excitement there. Advertisements is also in its most fundamental form, and could do with an Individual mode. Efficiency, Normal, and Dynamic operate fine, but there is only really need right here for a Dynamic On/Off switch, to be sincere. The switchgear for Advertisements is also hidden away when it must be a massive red button like on the cardio machines at the health club.
- It’;s hard not to fall for this automobile – it is received plenty of pep, a excellent guide and a nice interior. So what is not to like? In a word, cost: As trimmed up here, this S1 would possibly retail for about $ 40,000 in the US, which is money that only Mini looks brassy sufficient to ask for its higher-performance subcompact hatches.
- European deliveries for the S1 start in early May. It is better than competing Mini John Cooper Functions setups and would remind you a minor of the hottest Abarth 500, albeit with much more grip and greater balance. I’;m presently eagerly awaiting a 2nd-generation A1/S1 to see if it gets positioned a little more efficiently in the marketplace. Even so, this S1 is scorching stuff as is.