Next year will the launch of a new compact hatch in the form of the Audi A1, which is expected to arrive on the market as a 2011 model. The car won’t be an affordable city car in the same vein as the Toyota iQ and the production version of the Volkswagen up! concept, but rather a premium compact hatch designed to rival cars like the Mini Cooper. And just like the aforementioned Mini, which has a high-performance Cooper S model, latest reports indicate that the Audi A1 will have its own sporty S1 variant.

According to AutoExpress, the S1 will be the flagship of the A1 range and will come packing 200hp (147kW) and quattro AWD. Power will come from a supercharged and turbocharged 1.4L TFSI engine, and torque will be rated at around 221lb-ft (300Nm). Complete with a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox, the new S1 should sprint from 0-60mph in less than six seconds and reach an electronically controlled top speed of 155mph.

Other key attributes of the S1 will be a stiffened suspension set-up with magnetic dampers, a 40:60 front-to-rear torque split, and programmable gearbox with different drive options for either comfort or sport.

Visual differences to the standard A1 on which it will be based will be a sporty bodykit with flared wheel arches, 19in alloy wheels, a roof-mounted spoiler, and chrome highlights. Inside, the car should feature a flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminum pedals, and sporty bucket seats. Expect the S1 to arrive several months after the launch of the regular A1 hatch late next year.

Over the past 18 months Audi has previewed the upcoming A1 with two different concept vehicles: last year’s A1 Sportback from the Paris Motor Show, and the original A1 Metroproject from the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.