We’ve talked about this before and now it looks official; Audi is set to release the A1 in mid-2010 after it’s European debut sometime in 2009. Here’s an excerpt from the latest Autoweek:

>BMW’s Mini Cooper will come under fire in 2009, when Audi introduces an entry-level A1 model, followed by a top-secret high-performance S1 model aimed squarely at the Cooper S.

>Although Audi officials in the United States are mum on the project, highly placed sources in Ingolstadt say the car is being engineered for both the European and the North American market. Coupe, convertible and three- and five-door hatchback versions are all in the product portfolio.

They also have possible, very impressive, specifications.

>The range-topping performance S1, shown in these illustrations, will be powered by a 180-to-200-hp version of parent company Volkswagen’s 1.4-liter Twincharger (supercharged and turbocharged) engine, coupled to a Haldex-style multiplate-clutch transmission to give it permanent all-wheel drive. A seven-speed direct-shift gearbox would be standard. Sources say the S1 will be capable of 0 to 60 mph in less than 7.0 seconds and will have a top speed of about 150 mph.

A ton of power and decent transmission with suspension improvements over the Golf might make this the car to watch in the not-so distant future.

[ Audi A1/S1 ] Autoweek.com