RE: Audi S1 | Spotted

Sunday 8th September

Audi S1 | Spotted

No new version of Audi's baby Quattro model is due; thankfully the old one remains a corker



Thanks to Abt and its recently announced 240hp A1, the hot Audi supermini lives on despite the prospect of no new S1 on the horizon. With more power than a Fiesta ST, Abt’s 40 TFSI-based five-door ought to be a proper pocket rocket, although being front-drive and an S tronic auto means it’s unlikely to ever live up to the appeal of the old S1. That was a car that took inspiration from the WRC wannabe A1 Quattro, after all.

Two years after the run of 333 A1 Quattros were completed, Audi decided to produce its series S1 model also using its 2.0-litre TFSI engine. Power was rated at 228hp, 10 per cent down on the Quattro, but as a series model it was considerably cheaper, priced £15k less than the Quattro’s £40k list figure from 2012. The S1 lacked the Quattro’s gorgeous white wheels and general racey demeanour, but what lay underneath was similarly exciting.


Power was sent to all four wheels via quattro hardware and a standard six-speed manual. Performance was suitably swift, the S1 sprinting from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds and onto a limited top speed of 155mph, numbers that remain impressive for such a small car even today. This meant more adjustability than its larger siblings served up – and defied the notion that Audis all came with a safer balance.

With its peppy four-pot and two-axle drive, the S1 became a surprise enthusiasts’ favourite, mixing big grip with a sweet front end and a boisterous sense of fun - particularly in slippery conditions, where the S1 to lived up to some of its rallying heritage. Cross country pace was rapid, but the process of getting from A to B was also less blunt than you might expect from an Audi S model. It was genuinely exciting, to the extent that you might choose one specifically for its handling.


The S1 was, however, still pricey. Starting at close to £25k in three door form and more than £26k as a Sportback, it sat alongside larger and more rounded hot hatch offerings. Ford’s Focus ST, for example, was cheaper than the five-door Sportback and it had 252hp and offered more space. But the Audi was a premium product, and - even better - it was unique, thanks to Ingolstadt’s determination to install all-wheel drive. 

Its reputation, not to mention its basic good looks and brand desirability, have ensured solid resistance to depreciation. The cheapest model listed on PH is up for just shy of £14k. Ignore the ranking and you’ll note the 50,000-mile-old car looks to be no worse health than most others, backed by a full-service history and Haldex service only 10,000 miles ago. It’s smartly specced, wearing black paint and silver alloys, and the Sportback body ought to broaden its usability. More importantly, it’s likely to be a whole heck more fun than any A1 you can buy today. Abt’s effort included. 


AUDI S1 - SPECIFICATION

Engine: 1,984cc 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 231@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 273@1,600-3,000rpm
MPG: 40.4mpg
CO2: 166g/km
First registered: 2015
Recorded mileage: 50,000
Price new: £25,635 (Sportback)
Yours for: £13,950

Click here for the full ad

Search for an Audi S1 here

Author
Discussion

Porsche911R

Original Poster:

17,325 posts

210 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
They were great on paper but st to drive.
We sold ours after 2 months after having mini's, Fista St, Clio’s etc the S1 was dull as dish water, I swapped it for a Golf and have not looked back.

Quick A to B car in the wet, that’s it. Very over rated car sadly.

RacerMike

2,464 posts

156 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Yeah I can’t say they’re much fun to drive. Reading the article it sounds like you’re talking about a completely different car!

In my experience, the handling it’s pretty inert with no participation from the rear axle at all, the steering is lifeless and lacking in feel and the ride is choppy. Sure, they were pretty quick in a straight line, but I think as a drivers car it’s a massive let down.

Riverside Red

893 posts

80 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Have to agree, a test drive was enough for me, was a typical boring Audi.

Seem to remember it had a terrible seating position too.

RR

Christian85

456 posts

83 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Riverside Red said:
Have to agree, a test drive was enough for me, was a typical boring Audi.

Seem to remember it had a terrible seating position too.

RR
Agree about the A1 seating position. I remember driving one a couple of years ago and it was terrible.

Ay caramba

1,695 posts

43 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
"Audi is a premium product"
"Brand desirability"

Audi has never made anything to justify those two statements, not even the R8, which is a boring Gallardo.

I already spot many 'premium items' in this S1 that are fitted to the Seat Ibiza. Does that make the Ibiza a premium product? Or are we just talking about a few plastic interior mould differences? Marketing is an amazing thing.

And I'm sorry but Audi have not sorted the drive on this, or any other Audi for that matter, I've driven both 3dr and 5dr through work and they are st. I'd rather have the Ford, or even the Seat which manages to handle better despite being on the same platform.


s m

17,827 posts

148 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Porsche911R said:
They were great on paper but st to drive.
We sold ours after 2 months after having mini's, Fista St, Clio’s etc the S1 was dull as dish water, I swapped it for a Golf and have not looked back.

Quick A to B car in the wet, that’s it. Very over rated car sadly.
Who over rated them?

Doesn’t sound like many of the posters so far have!

martin12345

58 posts

34 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Test drove one
In isolation was good to drive but interior was dull and didn't have the "magic" of larger Audi's

Then test drove a Fiesta ST and placed the deposit immeadiately and saved ~£10k

NO comparison in how much fun

No regrets over that decision at all !!

the_hood

419 posts

139 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
That looks incredibly dull for a hot hatch.

swisstoni

8,015 posts

224 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
I’m sure the dealer will be well pleased this ad has been picked out for discussion on PH hehe

cerb4.5lee

12,332 posts

125 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
I've always liked these and I considered one when I was looking to buy my Cooper S. I still fancy one now and I'd like a go in one to see what they are like.

Dolf Stoppard

661 posts

67 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Ay caramba said:
"Audi is a premium product"
"Brand desirability"

Audi has never made anything to justify those two statements, not even the R8, which is a boring Gallardo.

I already spot many 'premium items' in this S1 that are fitted to the Seat Ibiza. Does that make the Ibiza a premium product? Or are we just talking about a few plastic interior mould differences? Marketing is an amazing thing.

And I'm sorry but Audi have not sorted the drive on this, or any other Audi for that matter, I've driven both 3dr and 5dr through work and they are st. I'd rather have the Ford, or even the Seat which manages to handle better despite being on the same platform.
I think the vast majority of people would disagree and consider an R8 to be a desirable, premium car. Just drive one down the street and watch it turn heads.

Most car lovers would also consider something like an RS6 to be a pretty desirable motor.

Sharing parts does not diminish the product as a whole, and goes on across the entire industry. Keys, switches, stalks, infotainment in a Gallardo...

I agree though that the interior of the S1 is disappointing, and was always the thing that let it down for me. Just too dull. A shame really as I think the package as a whole is otherwise great, and one of the more interesting hot hatches out there.


Gorbyrev

1,037 posts

99 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Well I just bought one and I think it is brilliant. The Fiesta ST is better on the ragged edge and a fantastic hot hatch but it can't do the big car thing that the S1 is good at. The ST is a more compomised daily and can b sketchy in the wet (Toyo Proxes didn't help!). Inspires confidence at high corner speeds and grips really well. The fact I bagged a Cat N for less than £10k probably sweetens the deal.

fido

14,112 posts

200 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
I love mine - it’s different from your usual FWD hatch but the little bit of extra weight over the rear and 60:40 AWD makes it feel like a mini Subaru of old!

Mike335i

2,509 posts

47 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Ay caramba said:
"Audi is a premium product"
"Brand desirability"

Audi has never made anything to justify those two statements, not even the R8, which is a boring Gallardo.

I already spot many 'premium items' in this S1 that are fitted to the Seat Ibiza. Does that make the Ibiza a premium product? Or are we just talking about a few plastic interior mould differences? Marketing is an amazing thing.

And I'm sorry but Audi have not sorted the drive on this, or any other Audi for that matter, I've driven both 3dr and 5dr through work and they are st. I'd rather have the Ford, or even the Seat which manages to handle better despite being on the same platform.
You appear to confuse your opinion with fact. Audi are very desirable to many, but maybe not to you.

An R8 is not boring.

Tcooc168

2 posts

1 month

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
It’s an baby Audi, someone will be more than happy to buy it and brag to their friends... “I drive an Audi”

Krikkit

15,986 posts

126 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
RacerMike said:
Yeah I can’t say they’re much fun to drive. Reading the article it sounds like you’re talking about a completely different car!

In my experience, the handling it’s pretty inert with no participation from the rear axle at all, the steering is lifeless and lacking in feel and the ride is choppy. Sure, they were pretty quick in a straight line, but I think as a drivers car it’s a massive let down.
When you could have a Fiesta ST or 208GTI plus a wodge of change, or something like a Megane RS if you wanted something a bit bigger I don't know why you'd buy one of these... Other than making your neighbours twitch the curtains of course.

Maldini35

2,158 posts

133 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
I ran one for x3 months and quite enjoyed it.
As a serial Clio RS owner it’s not in the same league for engagement but there is fun to be had if you grab it by the scruff of the neck.
Like all Audi’s it’s best avoiding the track and keeping it on the road though.
It was impressive in the wet.
For me the most disappointing aspect was the interior. It was very cheap and nasty, considerably worse than a Fiesta ST of the same vintage.





Gorbyrev

1,037 posts

99 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Krikkit said:
When you could have a Fiesta ST or 208GTI plus a wodge of change, or something like a Megane RS if you wanted something a bit bigger I don't know why you'd buy one of these... Other than making your neighbours twitch the curtains of course.
More comfortable, better all weather ability, better for long journeys, more stable at speed, better at pootling (we all have to do it) without the Quattro styling pack it is a better Q car and the not insignificant matter of more power (compared to smaller machines).

Brian Fallon

21 posts

16 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
What is the point of offering such a small car in only 5 door guise? This should be a 3 door car. The Audi / VW Group has removed the option of 3 door cars from its line up. Some of us don't need the rear doors as we don't normally need rear seats for passengers and are looking for a performance car with some space (with the rear seats down) for a dog or other items. Even the BMW 1 series is now 5 doors only. They're turning the hot hatch into a mini SUV. 🤧

Leins

6,800 posts

93 months

Sunday 8th September
quotequote all
Tcooc168 said:
It’s an baby Audi, someone will be more than happy to buy it and brag to their friends... “I drive an Audi”
Exactly! I call for the purchase of all German cars to incorporate a non-disclosure agreement post-Brexit