Speaking at the Detroit motor show, Hackenberg also confirmed that the new luxury-sports hot-hatch would feature a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and drive all four wheels.
It will closely mimic the Audi A1 quattro shown in 2012, which produced 188kW of power and 350Nm of torque – equal to the more expensive Audi S3 Sportback – but will be more refined and luxurious.
That luxury-sports emphasis encapsulated by ‘S’ branded Audi leads Hackenberg to believe that “there is not really a competitor for such a car, it is quite unique.”
Asked whether the car would be faster than a Mini John Cooper Works, however, he replied “I would imagine, yes.
“I don’t know what they are intending to do, but I know what we are intending to do.”
With power down to about 162kW from the S3’s higher figure, expect a low six-second 0-100km/h from either the standard six-speed manual or optional dual-clutch transmission.
Locally, the Audi A1 Sport 1.4 TFSI with 132kW is priced at $39,990 and the Audi S3 Sportback with 188kW retails at $59,990 – expect a pricetag bang-on $50K, identical to a Mercedes-Benz A250 Sport and just above a Golf GTI Performance Pack.
The Audi S1 will likely make its public debut at the Geneva motor show in March with global sales to follow shortly after, and an Australian on-sale late 2014.