Audi S1 quattro tested

Isn’t it ironic? While Volkswagen is obliterating all opposition in the WRC with a four-wheel drive Polo, Audi, the company that started revolutionised rallying with its Quattro system, is sitting on the sidelines making fast road versions of Polos. In fairness, Audi is occupying itself with other motorsport endeavours such as Le Mans, DTM and Rallycross, and calling the S1 a hotted-up Polo is about as far off the mark as fitting a home-made aerofoil to the bootlid of your A4. Nevertheless, taking your smallest shopping trolley, completely reengineering the floorplan to absorb multi-link rear suspension and a 2.0-litre turbo that requires an additional propshaft and rear differential to drive all four wheels sounds pretty extreme. In fact, it’s not far off the radical lengths RenaultSport went to when converting a Clio into a mid-mounted V6-engined, rear-drive monster back in 2001. Despite input from Tom Walkinshaw Racing on Phase 1, and Porsche on Phase 2, that car failed to live up to expectations. Is the Audi S1 more of the same?