Audi has been toying with the idea of a hot hatch based on the A1 premium city car for some time now. It rolled out the 500-horsepower A1 Clubsport Quattro concept at the Wörthersee gathering a couple of years ago, then put its form (with half the power) into limited production with the 252hp A1 Quattro (pictured above) shortly thereafter. What it hasn't done is offer a mainstream S1 that people can actually get their hands on, but that's all about to change.
Following spy shots of numerous prototypes, Auto Express claims to have it on good authority that the new S1 will be unveiled at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in March. Though likely less aggressive in its visual impact, the S1 is expected to get almost as much power as the aforementioned A1 Quattro, with a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder sourced from the larger S3 but detuned to 230 hp.
A six-speed dual-clutch transmission is expected to drive all four wheels – something for which the platform was not originally designed but was later adapted to accommodate – though the availability of a six-speed manual remains in question. Unfortunately the A1 was never destined for the North American market, so as much as we might want one (and as much as Ingolstadt may be motivated to take a bite out of the Mini market), we wouldn't expect to see it roaring into American showrooms.