The hot-hatch segment has seen multiple entrants come up in quick succession. With the number of cars growing and driving space getting dearer by the second, buyers are looking to fulfill multiple needs with this segment in particular. Sports car performance, niceties of a luxury saloon and fuel economy as well.
The world has been waiting for the Audi A1 launch for some time now. Spy-shots have been emerging since 2013 including shots where the car has been seen closest to its production avatar.
Audi is almost ready with the final product and is putting in the finishing touches on the S1 as automotive spies have caught the model cold weather testing. With the car looking showroom ready, this no longer needs to be a concept and may make a possible debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2014.
Seen here in camouflage, the S1 has been equipped with a sporty body kit that includes a new front bumper, a rear diffuser and a tailgate-mounted spoiler. Also seen are the new head lights and tail lights that make it look a lot like the Q3 cross-over. The cherry on top is a four-tailpipe sports exhaust system, that is both good for performance and is aesthetically pleasing.
The car is likely to be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that develops a power output of approximately 220 Bhp. It will likely be connected to 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions which send power to the ground via a front-wheel drive system or the quattro all-wheel drive system.
Audi will be eyeing the Indian market whenever the A1 is launched globally. Currently the premium hatch-back segment is being contended by the Mercedes-Benz A & B class and the 1-series from BMW.
The A-class (priced at around Rs 23.50 lakh) is doing a lot better, as the 1 series (priced at around Rs 30 lakh) is not only more expensive, but is “too serious” a design to appeal to its main target group i.e. young buyers. Road tests have shown the BMW to be a better performer, but the interiors are lackluster and the lack of options like paddle shifters are not doing it any favors.
Audi will be looking to try to squeeze in between the two and use their example as a gauge to what will and wont work in the Indian market.