Permanent all-wheel drive, electromechanical power steering and a multi-link sports suspension with adjustable dampers. Audi has packed a lot of technology into this little pocket rocket that's shaking up the compact class.
Our tester Mathis Kurrat says this Audi A1 really isn't an A1 at all. It's the most powerful variant in the model line -- the S1. The car has a 231 horsepower engine and permanent, quattro all-wheel drive. And today Mathis plans to see if it can live up to expectations.
The S1 Sportback gets its incredible power from its turbocharged 2-liter TFSI engine, which produces up to 370 Newton meters of torque.
Its sound is sporty and sonorous. The 4-door hot hatch can go from 0 to 100 kilometers an hour in just 5.9 seconds, and reach a top speed of 250 ((kilometers an hour)). On average, the car has a fuel mileage of 7-point-1 liters per 100 kilometers.
Mathis says it takes a little while for the turbo to kick in, but when it does the car goes like lightning -- pinning you to your seat. And, thanks to the quattro all-wheel drive, there's no need to worry about losing traction as the car really grips the road. Mathis says the all-wheel drive has another advantage, too. When picking up speed, the motor has less effect on the steering -- for instance, when accelerating out of a curve.
Mathis finds the interior to be of high quality, as you'd expect in an Audi. There a fine mix of materials and little details ...like the red rings around the air vent and the start-stop button.
So what's Mathis' overall impression?
He says the S1 is great fun to drive. It doesn't have a big trunk or a lot of room in the back seat, but he says these aren't must-haves for a fun hot hatch.
But that fun does come at a price. In Germany, the S1 has a starting price of close to 31 thousand euros -- 13-thousand more than a bare-bones A1 Sportback.