The 2015 S3 is the smallest sporty Audi available in the United States, but European buyers can go even smaller.
The 2014 Audi S1 was revealed ahead of its scheduled debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. Think of it as an upscale rival to the Ford Fiesta ST.
Available in either three-door hatchback or five-door “Sportback” hatch body styles, the S1 shares its name with legendary Coupe quattro S1 rally car, one of many quattro variants that dominated rally stages in the 1980s.
While the 2014 S1 does have all-wheel drive and a turbocharged engine, it’s not quite as extreme as its namesake.
That 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine develops 231 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to get the S1 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, according to Audi.
The German automaker did not specify what transmissions will be offered on the S1, but a six-speed manual and S-tronic dual-clutch automated gearbox are probable choices.
Other upgrades include a performance-tuned version of Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, recalibrated electric power steering, and upgraded suspension and brakes.
The 2014 S1 also features Audi drive select, which allows drivers to adjust the car’s behavior – including throttle response and suspension stiffness – electronically.
It’s all wrapped in modified bodywork that makes this little hatchback look surprisingly aggressive. The car gets sportier new bumpers, a rear spoiler, as well as a blacked-out taillight that contrasts nicely with the optional yellow paint.
The interior gets typical sporty touches, including a flat-bottomed steering wheel, sport seats, and stainless-steel pedals.
The 2014 Audi S1 should go on sale shortly its Geneva Motor Show debut next month. Prices will start at 29,950 euros ($40,830) for the three-door and 30,800 euros ($41,990) for the five-door Sportback.
Of course, the S1 won’t be available in the U.S. If you can without a fancy badge, consider the Ford Fiesta ST. If you’re absolutely committed to spending large sums of money on a small hatchback, there may be a few MINI John Cooper Works GP models still on dealer lots.