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Intel: Audi S1 A Go, While RS 1 Will Likely Not Happen

Ever since the A1 was introduced, there’s been plenty of discussion whether there’d be an S or RS version of the little car. Test mules of what was believed both cars have been spied and and “S1”-logo instrument cluster on a car spied at Audi headquarters seemed to suggest at least the S-car version, but there’d still been discussion from fans whether the S1 name would be used given its unofficial assignment to the original Sport quattro. Now, intel from a source at Audi AG have confirmed at least the S1.

According to highly placed and reliable source, Audi will introduce the S1 “for sure” and it will hit the market in 2014. Our render above shows what the car might look like were it to be introduced today – adding simple S-car cues to the current A1 S line model. Given the 2014 timeframe though, we’d expect that the S1 will be launched alongside the A1 product improvement (P.I., a.k.a. facelift).

What powers the S1 remains to be seen. Audi could go with the 2.0 TFSI setup of the A1 quattro or perhaps the new 1.8 TFSI that is just hitting the market. Either would make for a quick and fun starter S-car.

When it comes to the Audi RS 1, a contact from quattro GmbH is less bullish. They site the A1 quattro special edition – a car not built by quattro GmbH, but certainly one that suggests RS design cues that would likely be adopted to an RS model. “We showed the A1 quattro in the past that was already very emotional. There is a question of whether the market is big enough for an RS 1. I’d say probably not. It is a very price sensitive market and (an RS 1) might get too expensive” we were told.

That last news about the RS 1 is unfortunate. We’ve driven both the A1 clubsport quattro Concept and MTM’s 2.5 TFSI-swapped A1 Nardo and can only say how wonderfully crazy the little PQ25 chassis of the A1 is with such a strong motor. Whether or not there’s a market for both an RS 3 and and RS 1 using such an engine remains to be seen but we’re guessing that’s likely one of the reasons the car wouldn’t make it.

For our RS 1 render, we went formulaic. We took the A1 quattro and changed it to an RS color (Daytona Grey) and added the alloy wheels from the RS 4. A mysterious black test mule spied a while back had us wondering if that wouldn’t be precisely where an RS 1 was headed. We love the overall look and would equally love to see it happen, but based on this intel we’re guessing the RS 1 is a non-starter. A pity.


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