TMR Team | Jan 11, 2013

Reports of a performance version of Audi's A1 have been circulating for some time, and it's not hard to see why: a gutsy engine in a compact body? It's a popular formula.

Since the little hatch's debut in 2010, Audi has delivered a few concepts designed to gauge market interest in the idea of a pricey S-badged A1, including a handful of hotted-up cars at the famed Worthersee GTI Tour.

It all came to a head in December, with the European-market launch of the limited-edition A1 Quattro - essentially an unofficial RS 1 - powered by the S3's turbocharged 199kW engine.

If it's all an A1 fan can stand, they can stands no more.

Relief may finally be on the horizon however, with new spy photos this week revealing what could be the long-awaited S1 undergoing cold-weather testing in Europe.

These new images follow shots obtained last year that showed the hot hatch lapping the Nurburgring.

Sitting low on (relatively) large light alloy rims and brandishing an extra pair of pipes at the rear, it's easy to imagine that this is a pre-production prototype of a new flagship in the A1 range.

Reports overseas suggest the S1 will use the all-wheel-drive system of the A1 Quattro, along with a detuned version of the same car's engine.

Britain's What Car? magazine quotes an unnamed source at Audi, reportedly offering this: "Of course we can imagine the technology [in the Quattro] on large scale production, so there might be a right hand drive S coming."

"The 2.0-litre is a perfect engine with lots of power and torque and a wide range of possible versions so why not that one?"

We'll see.


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