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Spyshots: 2011 Audi S1 Bears All

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It might only be a citycar that’s the size of a slipper, but the Audi A1 will get a whole lot tougher and more powerful in the near future, as there’s a sporty version coming in the form of the 2011 Audi S1, which will probably arrive at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show.

The diminutively proportioned hothatch has a lot going for - decent looks and a big bin of parts from which Audi can build something really cool. But what really interests us is the powerplant.

Before we get to that, we have to regrettably inform you that there is probably no quattro version coming (though we can’t say for sure right now), so you’ll have to rely on the front wheels to do both the steering and the pushing. But is that really a bad thing? Audi hasn’t built a FWD driver’s car in a long time, and VW Group has that excellent electronic limited slip differential that it uses on the Golf.

We can’t say for sure what kind of engine the S1 will use, but what is clear is that those unimpressed by the current 1.4 TFSI should hold onto their money, because the new model is rumored to pack about 220 horsepower. If this is indeed the case, than the 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint should be dealt with in about 6 seconds, while the speedometer should have 240 km/h (150 mph).

This prototype may only look like an A1 in S-Line trim, but our spies point out that the larger tailpipes and heartier exhaust note are a dead giveaway of this car's heightened sporting intentions. In terms of appearance, Audi may be holding back on the aggression a bit to save some money and keep the S1 from stepping on the A3 toes.

Unique wheels, a freer-flowing exhaust, aluminum gear inside, and upgraded interior materials will also add to the S1's attraction. All in all, it will be yet another very interesting front-drive hot hatch for European customers, but will Audi even decide to bring it Stateside?


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