Audi has hinted there will be no S1 hot hatch derivative of the second-generation A1 launched globally last week.
Speaking with CarAdvice in Spain, head of communication at Audi, Peter Oberndorfer, while not pouring cold water on the idea completely, did state another S1 is “not foreseen on this platform”.
He cited the high development cost of the previous generation S1, which featured a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, married to a six-speed manual gearbox exclusively and underpinned by Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system.
“Honestly it’s difficult, with that platform, it’s difficult,” said Oberndorfer. “This was quite an investment. You remember the first series of the A1 quattro was very expensive to build."
Above: We're fans of the current S1 – we actually bought one!
"The S1 was also not easy to do because it was done later, it was not originally on the platform. It was quite an investment. It was a great car, I had one in my house, but nowadays we have to focus more and more [on other developments] and it’s getting more and more difficult,” he said.
Oberndorfer hinted the 2.0-litre A1 40 TFSI, with 147kW and 320Nm and a 100km/h sprint time of 6.5 seconds, may well become the de-facto performance version of the second-generation A1. Although it doesn't match the old S1, the engine is shared with the current Volkswagen Polo GTI.
“You drove the 200 horsepower version just an hour ago. It’s quite a fun car,” he said.
Audi has already confirmed a fourth engine variant will be added to the A1 range next year – the 25 TFSI, with power from a 1.0-litre petrol making 70kW and 175Nm.
We will see another derivative of some sort, too. According to the communications boss, it will be “a nice little derivative. We will see it next year, later next year".
He laughed at suggestions it could be a city-focussed, high-riding crossover. “It’s not a Q1,” he stated.
For now, though, those wanting a performance-focussed A1 will have to ‘make do’ with the 40 TFSI.