HOTTIE’S EXPENSIVE TASTES
PAY FOR YOUR PLEASURE
A FACT of life is good material things usually don't come cheaply.
Like Audi's S1, the hottest and most fun to drive of the present crop of hot hatches.
But you need $50,000 for the privilege.
Based on the A1 five-door, the smallest of the extensive Audi family, the S1 differs in having a mighty 2.0litre turbo motor, lowered sports suspension, huge brakes and quattro all-wheel drive, all of which turn Little Red Riding Hood into the wolf. Or a leopard, more likely, since the cats can grip and corner much better than wolves.
So you get a classy hatch more than capable of winning its class in Targa West, but at the same time it has seating for four, a reasonable boot, good fuel economy, and all the safety and entertainment mod cons of the day.
S1s come with a superb sixspeed manual transmission – no auto available – a multi-speaker audio system, climate control, ambient lighting, remote central locking, cruise control, satnav, headlight washers, auto-on headlights and wipers, leather seats and steering wheel trim, and parking sonar.
Reversing camera? even as an option.
And, like many new cars these days, there's an inflation kit, but no spare wheel.
However, it's a delightful thing to drive. The engine whacks out a massive 170kW/370Nm and the
'Fraid not, sophisticated new brakes, suspension and steering give it adrenaline-generating performance and roadholding to match.
There are three drive modes, the performance one enhancing engine and steering response, and firming the already stiff suspension.
The fat tyres on the big wheels give the little hottie a giant footprint which, in turn, give it incredible stability.
The ride is great for a car of such short wheelbase, but drive over a discarded matchstick and you'll feel it.
It's a superb package, albeit expensive, and there are various options to customise it. Ours came with 18-inch black alloys with machined edges, bi-xenon headlights and red brake calipers. Lovely.
Another side of the S1's character is that it drives like a regular runabout if you apply just a feather foot on t he accelerator. And you'll get 7.1litres/100km.
Pricey, but desirable in the extreme.
Verdict: Audi's sexy S1 is about as hot as they come.