First Drive: Audi S1 Quattro
First there was the bonkers limited-edition A1 Quattro, and now there’s a more civilised and sanely-priced Audi S1 Quattro for the masses, says Matt Joy
More than you might think. Yes it’s still clearly an Audi A1, but as well as the pumped-up exterior (which can be pumped up still further if you pay a little extra) there are significant changes under the skin.
The most important is the new 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, already seen in the S3 saloon and hatchback. There’s a six-speed manual gearbox to go with it plus the all-important four-wheel drive system. The rear suspension has also been swapped for a more sophisticated four-link arrangement for better handling.
Looks and image
The standard A1 is already one of Audi’s best-looking cars and the S1 goes a step further. The strong colour palette means you need to be sure of what you like, but it’s small and tough-looking which is an endearing combination. The optional Quattro styling package adds bigger wheels, a black rear panel and discreet Quattro badges on the flanks – we think this is a box that needs to be ticked.
Space and practicality
The S1 is unquestionably a small car but you might be surprised what you can squeeze into it. Up front the slimline dashboard helps the feeling of space, while in the rear it is snug but you can insert adults in there without causing upset. The boot is good for the class too although there is slightly less space than the standard A1 because of the four-wheel drive hardware.
Oddment space is pretty good for a small car too, and obviously if you choose the five-door Sportback version over the three-door getting into the back is significantly easier.
Behind the wheel
Fun is clearly on the agenda with the S1 and it doesn’t disappoint. It has the Audi Drive Select system which allows you to change the power steering, throttle response and suspension between settings depending on your mood. In Efficient or Comfort modes the S1 is civilised and comfortable, the engine hinting at its potential but remaining relatively quiet.
Conversely when you switch it into Sport mode it all gets much more lively. There’s a pleasing pop and crackle from the exhaust, the steering has a little extra weight and the suspension firms up noticeably. In truth you’ll want to save that for fairly smooth roads, but the S1 is a complete hoot, feels indecently rapid and handles with real verve.
Value for money
The three-door version starts at £24,900 while the five-door Sportback is £25,630. For that you get 17-inch alloy wheels, electronic damping as a part of the Drive Select system and ‘xenon plus’ headlights with LEDs at the rear. As always it’s the tempting options list that can push the price up.
Who would buy one?
Grown-ups wanting a small hot hatch with more quality than the norm will love the S1. There are rivals from more mainstream manufacturers that may come relatively close in terms of the fun factor, but the S1’s outright speed is hard to beat. Add to that the high quality cabin and the premium feel and the £25k price tag is certainly acceptable. Older folk who want something small and smart might be tempted too, although sensitive backsides may find the ride a little firm.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
Audi S1, £24,900
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol unit producing 228bhp and 273lb/ft of torque
Transmission: Six-speed manual gearbox driving all four wheels
Performance: Top speed 155mph (limited), 0-62mph in 5.8seconds
Economy: 40.3 mpg combined
Emissions: 162g/km of CO2
Latest posts by Sally - Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Multi-pet insurance: what you need to know - February 15, 2019
- Win ONE Of THREE Copies of Les Misérables on DVD - February 15, 2019
- Romantic Valentine’s Day Menu - February 7, 2019
- Should I buy an electric car? - February 5, 2019
- Should a statue of Margaret Thatcher be erected in her home town? - February 5, 2019
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!