Tag Links: audi, s1, mini, cooper

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Every so often, Audi adds a model to its range that raises an eyebrow.

It happened when it blended TT RS and small SUV to make the RS Q3. And now it’s done it again, by shoehorning a 228bhp version of the 2.0-litre turbo engine from the S3 into the Audi S1.

It makes a sporty, bassy noise when you hit the start button, although it’s ?not much louder than your regular A1. As well as its engine, the S3 has donated its four-wheel-drive system, which means you can feel a hint of mechanical shunting as all the various bits of transmission mesh together ?to get you on the move. But slot the ?slick R8-style manual gearknob into first and the S1 pulls away quite easily. ?And what strikes you first is how grown-up it feels, both in terms of the classy, minimalist ambience of the interior, and the driving experience.



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