In terms of rear-wheel drive performance cars, Japanese carmakers have been dominating this category in their own territory. One seldom sees foreign carmakers making headway in the local scene with their own rwd performance offers – with the exception of German auto companies. Audi of Japan has started offering the S1 supermini hot hatch, a small quattro car priced at JPY4,100,000 ($37,000).
However, aside from being expensive for its size (just four meters of length), it also offers little room inside. But what makes the S1 supermini a possible hot buy is the fact that it is powered by a 2.0 TFSI turbo engine, which delivers 231 PS of output at 6,000 rpm and 370 Nm of torque from 1,600 rpm. Mated to a six-speed short-throw manual, this 2.0 TFSI turbo engine allows the S1 supermini pocket rocket to move from zero 100 km/h in 5.8 seconds.
To stand out, Audi painted the S1 supermini in Vegas Yellow and installed different headlights than the regular A1 model, incorporating LED daytime running lights. Just like its S siblings, the S1 features silver door handles and a silver grille.
Making the ride a lot more comfortable in the S1, as well as better turning capability, is its much improved suspension. For instance, modified pivot bearings are installed at the front for better steering response.
At the rear, four-link setups can now be found. Still coming as standard are variable shock absorbers. In terms of fuel efficiency, the S1 supermini allows owners to cruise 14.4km on a liter of fuel, according to the JC08 Japanese domestic cycle. This means that the S1 consumes just 7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers.
Taking charge of deceleration for the new Audi S1 and the S1 Sportback is a larger brake master cylinder as well as large brake discs that measure 310 mm (12.20 in) in diameter on the front. Customers may also avail of the optional red brake calipers with S1 logo. Both the S1 and the S1 Sportback ride as standard on 17-inch wheels shod in 215/40 R17 tires, although 18-inch rims wrapped in 225/35 R18 tires are offered as an option.
Certain distinguishing elements make the new Audi S1 and the S1 Sportback instantly recognizable as the flagship models in Audi’s A1 model line. These elements include the all-new xenon plus headlights and LED rear lights with new, horizontally structured graphics.
A number of details lends the S1 and the S1 Sportback with a more stunning styling, like on the front and rear bumper as well as on the side sills and the exhaust system. Likewise, the exterior color palette for the new S1 and the S1 Sportback has been expanded with four new shades. Audi is likewise offering the optional quattro exterior styling package that adds certain details like the large roof spoiler.
Meanwhile, the interior of the new Audi S1 and the S1 Sportback is wrapped in dark tones, with the cabin – including on the air vent sleeves -- dominated by black, and the instruments featuring S-specific dark-gray scales. The pedal caps, meanwhile, are made from brushed stainless steel. The standard sport seats could be replaced with S sport seats with integrated head restraints, while the quattro interior styling package is also available.
Audi will commence sales of the Audi S1 and the S1 Sportback in Germany in the second quarter of 2014, at prices of €29,950 and €30,800, respectively.