Audi S1 on tracks is the surprisingly cool answer to the question no one asked

The Audi S1 is one of the smallest hot hatches in the world, so it’s not unusual to see one driving flat-out on the track. A YouTube video shot on a beach in Bulgaria shows Audi’s pocket-sized performance car driving flat-out on a completely different type of track.

For reasons that remain unknown, someone replaced the S1’s alloy wheels with a full set of tracks similar to the ones commonly found on exploration vehicles built to cruise to the iciest parts of the planet. We’re used to seeing track conversions on purpose-built off-roaders, like the Land Rover Defender and the Jeep Wrangler. Nissan even built a Rogue-based concept with tracks a couple of years ago. An Audi S1 is completely unexpected; it’s the answer to the question no one asked, and it’s awesome.

We don’t know who turned this Audi into an off-roader, or what the conversion process was like. It looks like the build required lifting the standard suspension by a few inches to make space for the hardware, and cutting out both bumpers to clear the tracks. The video shows the S1 doing power slides in the sand and going flat out as it drives along the water, which suggests it hasn’t lost an ounce of its performance credentials.

Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with the S1; it’s an obscure model to most Americans because it’s not sold in the United States. Positioned near the bottom of the company’s European lineup, the S1 gets a 2.0-liter TFSI engine that makes 231 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It’s essentially the same engine that equips Volkswagen’s GTI, but it’s stuffed in a car that’s about the size of a Ford Fiesta. The turbo four sends its power to all four wheels via a six-speed manual transmission and Audi’s famed quattro all-wheel drive system.

The regular Audi S1 takes approximately five and a half seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop. We don’t know what effect the tracks have on performance, but at least you can boldly attempt a 0-to-60-mph sprint in a foot and a half of snow. Try that on low-profile summer tires.