The sporty version of the A1, the S1, is not for the faint of heart. When it comes to the S1, the drive, the looks and the technology are all designed to give you an immensely fun ride.
Resembling the A1, the three-door S1 has a classic Audi profile with a compressed body shape. Not one to shy away from its sporty nature, it has dual-branch oval twin tailpipes, a rear spoiler and black brake callipers. Xenon plus headlights (with LED daytime running lights) mean you are always seen on the roads and have greater visibility during night-time drives. Because the S1 comes in just one trim level, all of these features are fitted as standard.
When you slip into the driver’s seat, you know you are in for a sporty drive. The two front seats are both sports-inspired and clothed in black cloth or leather with red stitching for an eye-catching contrast. Hugging you while you drive, the seats make the experience all the more inspiring and comfortable. The multifunction steering wheel has a high gloss S1 badge and perforated leather trim, adding to the athletic experience. Opt for a panoramic sunroof to fill the interior with light and be energised by the elements as you drive.
Audi Drive Select allows you to make your drive as relaxing or sporty as you like. Simply press the buttons marked 'comfort', 'auto' or 'dynamic' on the central console, and the S1 will adjust the engine, transmission and other components to alter the drive. An MMI screen means you can control the DAB digital radio, phone connectivity and satellite navigation easily. For added safety, the S1 has Electronic Stability Control to keep you steady while driving at speed. It also comes with secondary collision brake assist, a system that automatically helps you to stop during an accident to help prevent further impact from a second collision.
The 2.0-litre TFSI engine has turbo fuel stratified injection technology to make it more fuel-efficient without compromising on performance. Delivering 227.9bhp, the S1 will take you from 0-60mph in less than six seconds and achieves speeds of up to 155mph. Fitted with sports suspension, the S1 has an energetic driving experience. Its all-wheel drive makes it responsive in difficult weather conditions.
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First there was the bonkers limited-edition A1 Quattro, and now there’s a more civilised and sanely-priced S1 Quattro for the masses.
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 further still if you pay a little extra) there are significant changes under the skin.
The most important is the fitment of a 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|47 Monthly Payments of||£229.00|
|Centre Deposit Contribution||£485.00|
|Total cash price of optional extra- metallic paint||£575.00|
|Retail Cash Price||£20,585.00|
|Total Amount of Credit||£17,108.80|
|Optional Final Payment||£9,386.00|
|Option to Purchase Fee||£10.00|
|Total Amount Payable||£23,635.20|
|Total Amount Payable by Customer||£23,150.20|
|Representative APR||5.9% APR|
|Fixed rate of interest||5.84%|
Take a closer look by using our interior and exterior tours
Terms and Conditions: *At the end of the agreement there are three options: i) pay the optional final payment and own the vehicle; ii) return the vehicle: subject to excess mileage and fair wear and tear, charges may apply; or iii) replace: part exchange the vehicle.
With Solutions Personal Contract Plan. Available on stock vehicles only. 18s+. Subject to availability and status. T&Cs apply. Offer available when ordered by 30/09/2018 from participating Centres. Indemnities may be required. Offers are not available in conjunction with any other offer and may be varied or withdrawn at any time. Accurate at time of publication [July 2018]. Freepost Audi Financial Services.