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Audi: no RS1 in the works
Audi has confirmed to TopGear.com that a potential range-topping ‘RS1’ - a hotted-up A1 to sit above the excellent S1 in its small car line-up - won’t be appearing anytime soon.
Speaking at a test day for the new RS3, Stephan Reil, technical director at Quattro GmbH, revealed that though the S1 had gone down a storm, a faster version wasn’t likely.
“Never say never,” he told us, “but unfortunately it’s not very realistic. The main reason is financial. The smaller the car gets, the smaller the amount of return you get, so you need to sell a whole bunch of cars to make it. The smaller the car gets, the harder the business case becomes.”
Reil cited another issue holding back such a project. “I really love the S1, it’s a really cool car, but to have the right horsepower gap between an S1 and a potential RS1, would mean the RS1 would get close to the S3.
“Then you have intra-company competition, and that’s a problem,” he added.
It’s the same reason why Quattro - responsible for building the RS Audis - won’t give the new RS3 any more power than its rumoured 360bhp+. “Power is not an issue - you saw with the Clubsport Quattro Concept, we had a five-cylinder turbo with 525bhp, so if I put that in this new RS3, I would burn up the RS4 and RS5, and be very close to the RS6 and RS7,” said Reil.
That new RS3 then, will remain the company’s entry-level RS model. “The new RS3 is the first step into our world. It’s the cheapest and smallest offering we do for the RS family, and we have to keep it at a specific power output. And anyway, I’m not a fan of power top trumps, because more power means a bigger turbocharger, which means more lag.”
You can read all about the brand new Audi RS3 here, as we grabbed one of the world’s first rides in the five-pot turbocharged hot hatch.
But - would you fancy an even smaller RS1? Voice your opinion here, and we’ll be sure to pass them on to Quattro’s HQ…
Pictured: Audi S1