Audi introduces facelifted A1, S1 subcompacts

The A1 and the sport-focused S1 get a slightly revised look and more efficient engines.

Audi has introduced the updated 2015 A1 and S1 subcompact hatchbacks. Based on the Volkswagen Polo, the A1 sits at the very bottom of Audi's European lineup while the S1 is positioned higher up as a performance-focused offering.

For 2015, both models get a minutely updated front fascia with a sharper rendition of Audi's traditional Singleframe radiator grille, new headlights and a revised lower bumper. A selection of new alloy wheel designs ranging from 15- to 18-inches and additional paint colors round out the exterior updates.

The interior upgrades are similarly minor and largely limited to a new infotainment system, new customization options and the availability of a wi-fi hotspot.

The big news for 2015 is found under the hood, where the updated A1 is the first Audi to be offered with a three-cylinder engine. The entry-level mill is a 1.0-liter TFSI unit that makes 95 horsepower, and buyers who prefer diesel can order a 1.4-liter TDI three-banger that makes 90 horsepower. The 1.4-liter TDI is the mileage champ of the A1 lineup, returning nearly 70 mpg in a mixed European cycle.

The A1 is also available with a wide range of gasoline- and diesel-burning four-cylinder engines. Most models are offered with either a manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG unit controlled by shift paddles.

The range-topping S1 carries on with only minor mechanical modifications, meaning it retains a 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine rated at 231 horsepower and 272 lb-ft. of torque. Fitted with Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system, the S1 is capable of reaching 62 mph from a stop in 5.8 seconds before topping out at 155 mph.

The updated Audi A1 is scheduled to go on sale across Europe over the coming weeks. Pricing information will be published closer to its on-sale date.

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