Ingolstadt, Germany - Audi’s new A1 Sportback has just made its debut this week, and already there’s talk of a hot S1 version that will pack around 186kW of power - giving true meaning to the term "dynamite comes in small packages".
With the flagship version of the standard A1 powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine mustering 147kW, the S1 will reportedly get a more potent two-litre turbo under its bonnet, along with all-wheel drive. This should allow it beat the 5.8 second 0-100km/h sprint time of the current S1, which was sold in South Africa for a number of years before being discontinued.
Audi hasn’t confirmed it but the new S1 is expected to debut overseas in late 2019.
Styling details are also still under wraps, but expect the car to get some sporty trimmings including bigger wheels and a larger roof spoiler.
The new A1 is already more masculine looking than the car it replaces, being longer and wider, with chunky styling that harks back to the iconic Ur-quattro and Sport quattro rally car of the 1980s. It has an extra large trapezoidal grille and wing-shaped LED daytime running lights.
Inside, Audi’s smallest hatch has acquired the latest technology including an optional Virtual Cockpit digital instrument panel, a 25cm touchscreen infotainment system, and driver aids such as lane-departure warning, pre-collision assist, and adaptive cruise control.
Apart from more passenger space in the enlarged cabin, the boot has also grown by 65 litres to 335 litres.
The A1 was launched in Germany this week with three trim options - Advanced, Design Selection and S Line - all with their own interior colours and materials. The different trim grades also affect the exterior, with the side air inlets, lower sections of the front and rear bumpers, the diffuser and the rear spoiler all available in various configurations. The S Line gets sporty glamour in the form of bigger air inlets, extended sill trims, a larger rear wing and dual tailpipes.
The new Audi A1 is under consideration to go on sale in South Africa in the second quarter of 2019, with the hot-performing S1 likely to follow suit at a later date.