Not Sold Here: Audi S1 Hatchback

If you want to see people go nuts at a car show, simply bring an Audi R8 supercar and watch as the crowd flocks around it like moths to the proverbial flame. Don’t get me wrong – I like the R8 – but I’ve been to plenty of car shows and seen plenty of them. At the Concours in the Hills car show, I saw an Audi that I had never seen before.

The Audi S1 is a hot hatchback based on the Audi A1 platform. It’s not sold in the United States, but it is sold in Mexico. You can think of it like Audi’s answer to the Ford Focus ST, the Fiat 500 Abarth, or the Mini Cooper John Cooper Works (JCW) edition. Hot Hatchbacks have long been popular in Europe, and are only recently starting to make inroads in the US market, where trucks and SUVs reign supreme.

Under the S1’s hood is a turbocharged 2.0L engine making 228 horsepower. Audi says it will accelerate from 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph – quite impressive for such a small car! It also has Audi’s permanent Quattro all-wheel drive system.

This car is incredibly rare to see in the US compared to the R8, but hardly anyone paid it any interest at the car show. Just goes to show what you might see when you keep your eyes open!

Automotive Tech Takes the Stage at CES 2014

Every year in January, the world’s consumer electronics companies congregat in Las Vegas at the International CES Show to show off their latest and greatest products. Everything from digital cameras and tablet computers to washing machines and televisions are on display.

In past years, car manufacturers occupied a small part of the show to demonstrate the latest in-vehicle technologies. For 2014, automotive companies reserved 140,000 square feet of floor space for their booths – a 20% increase compared to 2013!

Here are some of the top automotive headlines from CES 2014:

Audi Introduces Self-Driving Car

Audi was at CES 2014 demonstrating a self-driving car, which uses a combination of RADAR, LASER, and imaging technologies to be aware of its surroundings. Last year, the car’s entire hatch was filled with computers to process this information. This year, it’s been shrunk down to a computer in the trunk no bigger than an iPad. Audi calls their new technology “piloted driving,” and it looked very close to production-ready on this A7 sedan.

Continue reading

Audi 4000 CS Quattro

I spotted this cool old Audi up in Sedona a while back and thought it looked pretty cool so I snapped some shots of it. I think it would look a little nicer without the trendy roof rack on it, but hey, this photo was taken a couple months ago so the guy has probably removed it and jumped onto another bandwagon by now.

Continue reading

1980-82 VW Rabbit Oettinger

I was a little confused when I first spotted this MK1 Rabbit. Was this a real Oettinger-tuned GTi 16S, somehow imported from France? As I got closer I noticed the lack of badging, the white deck on the hatch and the body cladding was a little off. My Volkswagen noob-status had betrayed me. This is just one of the lesser-versions of the USDM VW Rabbit with an Oettinger body kit. A “Malibuized” creation by former Chevy engineer James McLernon. Coincidentally enough, it foreshadows a tactic that the German V-dubbers are trying again, in the opposition of just about every other automaker today. Continue reading