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What is it?Audi’s bad-boy A1 supermini, the S1 – finally available in the UK, and in series-production right-hand-drive form. Offering permanent quattro four-wheel drive, a totally redesigned suspension system and a reworked Volkswagen Golf GTI engine with enough power and torque to put a full-size hot hatch in the shade, this car offers much more than the average warmed-up supermini.
The irony is that the S1 takes the place of the limited-run A1 Quattro – a car that sold out at a price north of ?40,000.
A full road test on the S1, unlocking every last scrabble and lunge of character and fun, will be forthcoming in a few weeks.
What's it like?The new Audi S1 is fast, desirable and highly specialised – all good signs.
In three-door form the S1 cracks 62mph from rest in 5.8sec – a solitary tenth of a second slower than the last Ford Focus RS we figured in 2009. The S1’s engine is yet another version of the Volkswagen Group’s ‘EA888’ turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol, as featured in cars as distantly related as the Seat Leon Cupra and the forthcoming entry-level Porsche Macan. Flatten the accelerator and the engine wakes up and chimes in with a not-so-subtle thump of 273lb ft from about 2000rpm, but by 4500rpm, the show is over, more or less. Passing the apex and from there on out, you drive the S1 more like a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo or a new Golf R than a Mini JCW. It may not quite be the match of what’s on offer in a Ford Fiesta ST or a Megane RS, but there’s plenty fun to be had if not a great deal of delicacy. And four-wheel drive or no, the car’s 273lb ft of torque is more than enough to corrupt the car’s steering – which is otherwise nicely weighted but isn’t as informative as it might be. Should I buy one?That depends on what else is on your shopping list, and what you want for the outlay. The best ?25k full-size performance front-drivers on the market – the likes of the Renault Megane RS 265, Ford Focus ST and Seat Leon Cupra – offer a slightly more rounded, precise and rewarding driving experience. Meanwhile, if you can manage with that lesser practicality and you just want the best fast supermini you money can buy, a Mountune-fettled Fiesta ST offers greater pure amusement than this Audi – and is ?7000 cheaper. But for its mix of pace, desirability and thrill factor, the S1 makes a welcome addition to the hot hatch class. Quality, 4 wheel drive, low deprication, sub 6.0 sec to 60 for less than ?25,000, I'd borrow the extra ?7000 to get this over the fiesta.


5 door indeed available and is a good point but then again you can borrow another 2K and buy a Golf GTI, albeit without 4 wheel drive for which you will have to strech to the R. However after reading the article with a fair degree of interest, I'm left feeling that this car may be a lot less exciting than the numbers suggest. At the end of the day if fun be the chief factor, there are better cars available, for far less outlay. While at 25k its "only" 7k more than a Fiesta, a couple of Audi choice options and it will end up nearer ?30k than 25! The 488's incredible engine and handling and open-top experience make for something very special indeed. The Isuzu D-Max is starting to show its age; after a drive in the range-topping Blade version, is it still competitive? So even given that it's close to Renault Megane RS 265 money, the S1 almost looks like good value. The likes of the Mini GP and the Citroen DS3 Racing have already shown that it can make sense to downsize your fast hatchback by a class for a machine of real purpose, verve and distinction – and we rated both. And it’s offered with a six-speed manual gearbox only, so with a launch control-enabled S-tronic transmission, it might have been quicker still. Knowing that, you can’t help wondering if Audi might have given the S1 even more power than the 228bhp they’ve ended up with. It's a proprietary set-up driven by a multi-plate clutch rather than the passive, Haldex-type system that Audi has used on its transverse-engined cars in previous years. So there’s always a healthy portion of power at the rear wheels, whether the front ones have started to run out of grip or not. Audi’s habitual bias towards handling stability is a little bit in evidence; the car’s front end doesn’t exactly dart towards an apex, and you have to work quite hard to induce any throttle-off slip from the rear.
Ask for power early to wake up that turbo, let the driveline worry about which axle to send it to, trim your line with the steering as that driveline introduces some neutral cornering attitude and be ready with the next gear – because you’ll need it sooner than you think.
The car’s torque-centric powertrain can also feel a bit brutish if you time your gearchanges badly or you’re injudicious with the accelerator. It’s a giggle, and it doesn’t feel at all like a token gesture, a place-holder or a half-measure.


In a world up to the neck with the auto box which I believe beats the very object of the hot hatch, Audi offering 6-speed manual is a good thing (shame on Renault Clio RS). And while the price may seem fair to the four-ring badge lovers, it's a tad too high for this badge neutral such as myself.
If it is straight line pace, AWD, cabin quality and resale value, one is after then the S1 betters rivals. Besides what 2 items costing ?2,500 each were you thinking of and that you'd possibly want anyway! Given that its four-cylinder growl lacks a little bit of detail and audible charm, you’d say the engine is both impressive and effective – but it’s short on enticing character. But still, the S1 feels quite grippy and direct enough on turn-in, when there’s very little body roll to eat away at directional response. Uneven cross-country roads tend to flummox the chassis slightly, leaving the car either to thump and hop its way onwards over the bumps or to fidget and pitch just hard enough to suggest you should ease off until the smooth surfaces return. A couple of years ago you could have written this review without even driving the car but they seem to be understanding the chassis a little more now. While the current-gen BMW X3 still has over a year of sales, BMW is already testing the third generation BMW X3 (G01) to get it ready for a 2017 launch. With the new underpinning, the next-gen X3 will be around 100 kg lighter than the second-gen X3.However, unlike some reports claiming that BMW will use CLAR platform for the next-gen X3, the British publication suggests that the next-gen X3, as well as the next-gen 3 Series and next-gen 5 Series, will use a different rear-wheel drive platform, and that the X3 will be the first model to be based on it. The model range will likely include an iPerformance plug-in hybrid model also.The engine line-up for the all-new BMW X3 will include an array of updated four-cylinder and all-new six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. At a later date, an iPerformance plug-in hybrid variant will likely be introduced, with the powertrain probably borrowed from the BMW 3 Series (BMW 330e) iPerformance.



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Comments to «Car reviews 2014 mazda 3»

  1. sevgi writes:
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