Just a few weeks ahead of the 2014 Geneva Auto Show, we have gained a sneak peak at the newest entry-level luxury hatch from the heart of ze Deutschland. This latest leak is of the 2015 Audi S1, which will be available only in Europe and will be sold in 3 and 5-door hatchback variants.
As is commonplace for the Volkswagen Group, the 2015 S1 is based on the same shared architecture which underpins the Golf/GTI, (released already in Europe) sporting Volkswagen’s work-horse 2.0 TFSI four-banger. The men and women from Volkswagen have tuned the popular engine to a respectable 228 hp and an even more impressive 278 pound-feet of torque providing enough pick-up to send the S1 from 0-60 in a quick 5.8 seconds. A winter-friendly all-wheel drive system is set to the task of driving this power to the wheels and one can expect gear changes courtesy of a slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission. Top speed is the usual 155 mph as displayed by most German vehicles, and the spritely hatch still manages to achieve an impressive 33.6 mpg on the U.S cycle. Rounding out the improvements is a thoroughly revised four-link independent suspension, used to improve handling and replace the rudimentary torsion-beam system in the run-of the mill A1.
Design cues stay mostly intact, yet are highlighted slightly by Audi’s nearly trademarked ‘restrained aggression’ that reaches every sport model built by the German marque. Besides the S badges placed around the vehicle, there are only subtle tweaks which differentiate the S1 from the rest of the lineup. Intriguing exterior paint choices, leather and cloth seats and a host of other minute details come exclusively with the sport-tuned compact.
The S1 hatchback is set to debut in person at Geneva next month, with a base price said to start at a hefty 24,900 British Pounds ($41,280). Unfortunately, this vehicle is a European exclusive and is not set to hit our shores anytime in the near future. Though we look forward to the release, here’s to hoping that Audi’s RS division might get a hold of the compact and work its magic on the speedy hatchback. Take-rates may be marginal for Audi but with the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG sitting unchallenged at the top of the super-compact arena, perhaps a little competition couldn’t hurt.