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Veteran racer Mattias Ekström campaigns the meanest looking Audi S1 on the block in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. With 600 horsepower on tap, it can reach 60 miles per hour in a claimed 1.9 seconds. However, for Ekstrom's latest race in the Audi pits him against a pint-sized doppelgänger in the form of an RC replica of the rallycross machine.

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Back in 2010, Audi debuted the diminutive A1, and it's sold over half a million of them since. Now, more than four years later, the German automaker has given its smallest and most accessible model a facelift and some updated equipment.

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Mattias Ekström doesn't need to prove anything. He's won the DTM title twice and before that the Swedish Touring Car Championship. But being a racing driver as he is, Ekström has been looking for new challenges. He's contested the Swedish Rally six times, the German Rally twice, he's driven in V8 Supercars and in NASCAR. He's even won the Race of Champions. Twice. Heck, we're surprised his long-time sponsor Red Bull hasn't let him try out one of its F1 cars. But this season it's on to

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Audi may only now be fully committing to the US compact car market with a range of A3 models, but it's got far more small car expertise than most Americans realize, and its offerings get even tinier, too. Back in 2010, Audi leapt into the subcompact premium fray – in all markets but the United States, Canada and China – with its A1. The A1 family has sold all right, but not quite as well as was expected, likely due to its price when optioned up. (It also doesn't help that the Volkswa

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Audi showed of its new S1 hot hatch to the public at the Geneva Motor Show last week, but the Four Ringed brand isn't done tweaking the smallest member of its lineup. Here are spy shots of an upcoming refresh of the standard A1.

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The Audi S1 takes the Four Rings' high performance brand to its smallest model yet. Offered in three- and five-door forms (pictured above), the S1 is a subcompact hot hatch that seems specially suited for Europe's dense cities and tight roads.

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We got the first leaked pics of the new Audi S1 Sportback five-door hot hatch yesterday, and as expected, Audi has unloaded the full details today, including confirmation of its S1 three-door sibling ahead of its debut at next month's Geneva Motor Show. The two cars are essentially identical aside from their door counts, and together, they represent a new entry-level rung into Audi's S car range.

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Rumors have been swirling that Audi will unveil the next-generation TT at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, but now it seems as if European hot hatch fans will be getting a car of their own from the German automaker. Images of the S1 Sportback Quattro have leaked out today, giving us our first taste of the real thing after seeing the camouflaged version a few months ago.

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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.

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Audi was out testing its upcoming S1 on the streets of Germany when our trusty spy photographers snapped the new, all-wheel-drive hot hatch that's set to succeed the limited-edition A1 Quattro.

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Bulgarian tuner Prospeed has built a replica of Audi's fabled S1 World Rally Championship mauler out of a garden-variety Audi Coupe, and it's a convincing-looking beast. Helping in its bid for authenticity is genuine Group B horsepower: 800 ponies, to be exact. It won the Bulgarian Hillclimb Championship last year, and it recently ran up an incline at the Kyustendil Hillclimb, part of this year's championship series.

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The engineers at Audi look to be hard at work on a more potent version of the company's A1 hatchback. Spy photographers spotted this machine out on public streets for testing, and the presence of a set of quad exhaust out back leads us to believe this could be the rumored S1 model. It's unclear whether this machine will slot under the limited-edition 256-horsepower A1 Quattro or be sold as a less extreme version of the hottest of Audi hatches when that car's production slots fill up. Photographe

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2010 Audi A1 Wörthersee custom – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Audi's lineup is expanding so quickly you'd think its cars were spawning new models by mitosis. In a few days at the Paris Motor Show we'll be seeing the newest hot addition to the A1 range: the 185-horsepower 1.4 TSFI with thrust provided by a twin-charged four cylinder. That's not the S1, it just has the S-Line package thrown on for racy looks. Next year, the S1 itself will step forward, with the Golf GTI's turbocharged 220-hp engine sitting up front. It is a sure bet to shave serious time off

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Audi S1 spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Turning an Audi A1 into an S1 – Click above for high-res image gallery. Follow the jump to watch video.

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