The Audi S1 Sportback has been spied undergoing cold-weather testing in Sweden ahead of its anticipated unveiling in 2013.
The Audi S1 will become the smallest and most affordable model in the German manufacturer's high-performance sub-division, slotting in below the larger circa-$70K Audi S3 hot-hatch to open up the ‘S’ range to new buyers.
Today’s spy shots confirm the Audi S1 will be offered in both three- and five-door body styles, with the former spied lapping the Nurburgring in June.
The S1 will sit at the top of the Audi A1 city-car line-up, bringing significant performance enhancements over the current flagship, the 136kW/250Nm 1.4-litre twin-charged A1 Sport.
The Audi S1 is rumoured to feature a mildly detuned version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine from the ballistic 188kW/350Nm Audi A1 Quattro, which was limited to 333 units and left-hand-drive markets only.
CarAdvice’s spy photographers believe the production S1 will generate between 165-180kW, with power sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission and – unlike the A1 Sport – a six-speed manual.
The extra power from the bigger motor will see the Audi S1 take a big chunk out of the A1 Sport’s 7.0-second 0-100km/h sprint, potentially cutting it into the low-6s.
In addition to the quad exhaust pipes seen here, the production S1 is expected to score a sportier body kit than the prototype with more aggressive front and rear bumpers, larger alloys and signature brushed aluminium mirror caps.
Despite development being well advanced, Audi is yet to officially confirm the existence of the S1 pocket rocket. As such, Audi Australia does not have any information on the new model, although CarAdvice understands it is a chance to reach local showrooms before the end of 2013.