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S1 - Just great on paper?

VeeFource Sep 25, 2019

  1. VeeFource

    VeeFource New Member

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    I think I've read and watched every review out there on the S1 and whilst most think it's awesome bar the price, I'd say one in ten say it just lacks that necessary fizz.

    Clarkson probably says it best (2/3rds down page):
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.driving.co.uk/car-reviews/the-clarkson-review-audi-s1-2014/amp/

    I love the car but when I get to my destination after what was a cracking bit of road I can't help but shake the feeling he's right. It really bugs me because I'm usually good at pinpointing what's wrong with a car, but in this case I'm stumped.

    I've improved the known bugbears being the sloppy gearshift & programmed the steering to always be in dynamic no matter the mode. But I still get that feeling of it being somehow disjointed. Maybe it's just because it's so accomplished it spoils you into always wanting more, who knows. Anyone else feel the same?
     
    springer likes this.
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  3. Johnny 99

    Johnny 99 Grey Man

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    I felt a little underwhelmed by my S1 for the 1st 1500 miles or so. I came from a Clio 200 with the Cup chassis which I regard as one of the finest hot hatches ever produced. Addictive naturally aspirated engine that encourages revving to find the power and a sublime chassis. It was after a weekend spent driving over 500 miles on Scottish back roads that I finally dialled into the car. The refinement of the S1 compared to the Clio did mean it felt less fun at first but it makes the car so much more usable daily or in a long run. Now I find that the S1 has got under my skin and I am enjoying it. I do miss the character of the Clio though!
     
    Ian Whiffen and springer like this.
  4. VeeFource

    VeeFource New Member

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    Yeah, the S1 is definitely a much better car for long distance work than a typical hot hatch which to be fair is one of the reasons I went for it. But the numbness still left me wanting even on a long drive so I've since done some further reading to try and understand why. This article got me thinking along the right lines:

    https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/mini-john-cooper-works-versus-audi-s1-comparison

    Particularly where it says "The more you drive the Mini, in fact, the more one-dimensional the memory of the Audi becomes, its lifelessness at low speeds a curable condition but only by continually operating at the opposite extreme."

    It then occurred to me this numbness at lower speeds must come from the steering as it's not the sort of driving where you'd be getting much information through the seat anyway. So I've looked further into what can be tweaked on the steering (beyond having it set to dynamic in all modes) and found something on a French forum about altering the 'straight line running' setting with VCDS from the default 'Active' to 'Not active'. This function is intended to make the car automatically compensate for camber changes, cross winds and torque steer so the car stays steadfast in the direction you've requested with the wheel. The downside to this being less steering feel and therefore lacking a 2 way conversation with the car that enthusiasts usually enjoy.

    So I changed the setting to 'Not active' this afternoon and what an absolute revelation! It's not lotus levels of feedback of course but all of a sudden the steering is now talking back and there is a whole new layer of interactivity. It may not be to everyone's tastes as the car can wonder from the straight ahead due to camber changes etc but to me this is all part of the fun. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of torque steer either so I'd have thought most S1 drivers would want this too. There also seems to me to be no issues with changing this and thankfully it retains the setting between key cycles. Quite why Audi chose 'active' as the default is beyond me as disabling it seems to address the very thing this car has been mostly criticised for.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
    springer and Johnny 99 like this.
  5. AGee

    AGee Member

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    VeeFource, The steering tweak sounds interesting. Could you write down the VCDS settings you changed?
     
  6. VeeFource

    VeeFource New Member

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    For this change (I changed the steering to always be in dynamic first which are steps 8 - 10 but you may prefer not to & skip these):

    (Ensure you have a backup of your original configuration before proceeding)

    1. Select control module

    2. Steering assist

    3. Security

    4. 17580

    5. Do it

    6. Adaptation

    7. Channel

    8. Characteristic curve

    9. (Stored value > Driver profile selection button) New value > Dynamic

    10. Do it (yes for VCDS to use default values)

    11. Channel

    12. Straight line running

    13. (Stored value > Active) New value > Not Active

    14. Do it (yes for VCDS to use default values)

    15. Exit

    Disclaimer: This worked for my car but obviously I can't guarantee it does for others.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
    AGee likes this.
  7. AGee

    AGee Member

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    VeeFource that’s awesome, thanks for the details, I will give it a go next weekend. :icon thumright:
     
  8. Ian Whiffen

    Ian Whiffen Well-Known Member

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    I came from a Clio 197 that had be decatted and Miltek'd with a custom remap from Ktec. Used to spit flames and was great fun. I know what you mean. The S1 is brilliant but I miss that high revving engine and superb steering feedback that the Clio gave.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
     
    Johnny 99 likes this.
  9. VeeFource

    VeeFource New Member

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    Have to say I'm loving the steering tweak mentioned above. I was hesitant to write this on here in case you'd all be expecting it to become Lotus Elise like steering but it really is has changed the car for me :welcoming:
     
  10. AGee

    AGee Member

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    So it appears that the “Characteristic Curve” cannot be changed with OBDeleven but the “Driver Profile Selection” can be. I did stumble across “driver profile switch over” which I will play with latter but VW forums say it changes throttle response from non linear to linear.

    VeeFource, does the Characteristic Curve in dynamic just affect the steering alone or does it work like the drive select button in dynamic? I always wanted heavier steering but I find the suspension to bouncy with drive select in dynamic.
     
  11. VeeFource

    VeeFource New Member

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    I don't think the Characteristic Curve can be changed with VCDS from vague memory. The Driver Profile Selection purely effects the steering, so if you change this from the mode button to dynamic the steering alone stays permanently in dynamic. A definite improvement but for me, still not as great as the Straight Line Running deactivation which is the single best mod I've ever achieved with VCDS. It really has given me a new love for this car and I can't understand why Audi wouldn't have done this as the default settings for all their sporty cars.

    I've also changed the Driver Profile Switchover based on what I'd read too. I think it has sharpened the throttle up so I've left it set as Direct but it is a very subtle change. It makes judging the clutch bite slightly harder but it's worth it for the more responsive feel.
     
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  13. AGee

    AGee Member

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    Sorry, typo in my previous post which the forum won't allow me to edit. It should read...So it appears that the “Characteristic Curve” cannot be changed with OBDeleven but “Straight Line Running” can be.

    Thanks for the reply. Though I'm a little confused, from your previous post below it looks like you changed the Characteristic Curve with VCDS to Dynamic? Also when you say mode button, you mean drive select button? Cheers.

     

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