Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Smallest Audis Hit the Hot Spot

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Smallest Audis Hit the Hot Spot

Article excerpt

Byline: Stewart Smith

IN the 1980s Audi topped the international rally scene with its fantastic Sport S1 quattro Rallye picking up the world championship and putting the German brand at the top of the list for sporting motors.

Decades on, Audi continues to offer keen drivers a wide choice of high performance cars and the latest to be released is the new S1, the latest of the most compact member of the Audi family.

Also new to the Audi line-up is the new S3 Cabriolet which completes the high-performance S3 quartet at the top end of the A3 range, sharing the same potent two-litre 300bhp TFSI engine and quattro all-wheeldrive as the three-door, sportback and saloon models.

I got behind the wheel of both new Audis in northern Sweden on a mixture of wet and icy roads where, unfortunately, low speed limits and keen traffic cops meant I couldn't give the fast newcomers from Germany a real try out.

But at the Molanda testing ground we did manage a few laps in the S1 which proved the hatchback, with 231bhp under its bonnet, is a serious piece of kit.

Handling on the twisty track in the new S1 was rock solid thanks to the superb quattro grip and acceleration through its six-speed short-shift gearbox was smooth and effortless. Top speed is a claimed 155mph, and from standstill to 62mph takes just 5.8 seconds.

It's a treat to drive and despite its great performance Audi claims you could achieve around 40mpg on a rather more sedate drive than I undertook.

The ride is firm but comfortable for a car of this type, and road, wind and engine noise are well suppressed. But it also has a delightful rasping exhaust note which adds to the driving experience.

The S1 five-door Sportback version is also no slouch with almost comparable performance figures and both are available to order now priced from PS24,900 and PS25,630 with deliveries in June.

As with all Audis the new S1 and S1 Sportback are packed with comfort and driver's aids including sports seats, flat-bottomed steering wheel, electronic climate control, a six-speaker CD-audio system with iPod connection and SD card reader linked to a 6-inch retractable colour display, a Bluetooth interface and driver's information system. …

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