S1 to breathe fire in 2011. But first Audi will unveil a cabriolet version of the upcoming A1.

Audi’s MINI-killer is hard at work, stretching muscle for its debut presumed to be Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Of course we have seen several sketches and renderings of what the Audi A1 will/ should look like. But now we have some leaked pictures of what its cabriolet version looks like before its unveiling, courtesy of Auto Express.

Audi A1 has a more advanced roof mechanism to operate its soft top, which, unlike previous MINI’s, folds into a hideaway position at the back and doesn’t expose itself to all sorts of intrusions. The electro operated roof will also fold rather quickly into its enclosure, and also make good space for things like groceries. The jury is still out on golf bags though.

The A1 will also feature funkier touches that will hopefully appeal to its target audience, with existing technologies like iPod interfaces, interior lighting options and a scaled-down version of MMI. We’ll probably see more funk than what’s in the Fiat 500 in terms of personalisation options. We’ll see more engines as well...

Starting with 1.4 TSI giving both 140 bhp and 170 bhp, put through to the front wheels. A 102 bhp 1.6-litre will come through as a base engine, while a 1.8-litre option of some 150 bhp will be the one just below the range topper S1. Before that though, diesel will play a role as well in the form of 2.0 TDI of 140 and 170 bhp. S1 should be using same 2.0-litre TFSI as big brother S3, although to suggest some 261 bhp/ 195kW as the S3 would probably be too optimistic. Instead we are likely to get between 200 bhp and 215 bhp for S1 when it comes out in 2011. The last time Audi had an A1 the market was not ready yet. And the target was not the same as this one.

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