Even though there have been rumblings that a high-performance RS version of Audi’s entry-level A1 could be coming, the boss of the automaker’s quattro performance division has ruled out the possibility.
Speaking with Top Gear, Audi quattro boss Stephan Reil said it’s hard to build a business case for such a car, explaining that the return on an RS 1 would be difficult to cover development costs based on the expected sales.
"Never say never, but unfortunately it's not very realistic,” Reil said. “The smaller the car gets the harder the business case becomes."
Talk of an A1-based RS 1 dates back all the way to 2010, the year the A1 first hit the scene. Audi did launch a 256-horsepower A1 quattro (pictured above) back in 2011, but this was a limited edition model built in a run of just 333 cars for the European market only.
While it looks like there won’t be an RS 1 anytime soon, the good news is that a new generation of the RS 3 is just around the corner, and this time we’re expecting it to be offered in the U.S. The new RS 3 will pack a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine (a revised version of the engine featured in the previous RS 3 as well as the TT RS) and should deliver around 360 horsepower.
Anymore power, according to Reil, will mean the new RS 3 starts encroaching on the performance of the RS 4 and RS 5.