It took a couple of years but finally Audi has confirmed that an RS version of their entry model A1 is in the works and it’s coming to your local dealership faster than you’d think! Set to go on sale early next year, the new 2017 Audi RS1 is set to produce 280 bhp and feature Quattro all-wheel drive.
Now you probably think: Audi A1 and Quattro, that sounds familiar! Right, the pre-facelifted model once had an A1 Quattro in its line up, the 256 hp Audi A1 Quattro. The limited edition pocket rocket was only distributed with a left-hand drive setup and a steep price tag (€60,000). The upcoming RS1 will however become a regular production model and is expected to be priced far more competitively as well. Rumors are it will be priced around 30,000 GBP in the UK, an acceptable premium over the price of the current Audi S1 (228 bhp, 26,335 GBP).
Main target of the upcoming RS1 seems to be the Mini John Cooper Works, say sources close to Audi’s sport division. Other hot mini hatches competing in the same segment come in the form of the Ford Fiesta ST and the upcoming Polo R from Volkswagen.
Under the hood we expect to see a further bumped up version of the current EA888 2.0-liter four cylinder engine that is also found in the Audi S1. In terms of shifting gears a manual and/or automatic transmission could make the sales catalog, with the possibility of a new seven-speed dual clutch transmission being developed in order to handle the RS1 peak torque output.
With more performance and possibly better aerodynamic design the RS1 should easily be able to beat the 0-100 km/h time of 5.8 seconds currently set by the S1. Similar to the body styles of the S1, both a three-door and five-door setup are expected. With the launch set for next year, the RS1 is the long-awaited icing on the cake for the A1 series, which is due for remodeling in 2018.