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Audi still not planning an RS1 – report

Audi's A1 range will top out at the 40 TFSI, with the company ruling out S1 and RS1 hot hatches.
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Audi may be expanding its range of RS-badged vehicles, but an RS1 won’t be joining the burgeoning ranks.

Joint managing director Julius Seebach told Autocar there won’t be an RS-badged version of the new A1, launched last year.

He referred to the turbocharged five-cylinder engine in the RS3 as being “our heritage” and said the RS3 would remain the entry-level Audi Sport model.

This comes after reports the RS badge will appear on both plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery-electric vehicles.

It also follows word there won’t be an S-badged version of the new A1.

Audi previously sold an S1 from 2015 until 2018, one of which we bought.

It featured a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 170kW and 370Nm, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

The head of communication at Audi, Peter Oberndorfer, told us the S1 was expensive to develop and build and that a second-generation model was unlikely.

Therefore, Audi won't go to the effort of trying to wedge a five-cylinder engine into the A1 to make an RS1.

With no RS1 and no replacement S1 in the works, that means the A1 40 TFSi will remain the performance leader of the A1 range.

Sharing its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with the Volkswagen Polo GTI, the 40 TFSI produces 147kW and 320Nm.

It’s mated to a six-speed S-tronic dual-clutch auto.

Audi’s decision not to produce an RS1 indicates Audi Sport isn't developing any models with a four-cylinder engine.

The first RS-badged Audi, the Audi 80-based RS 2 Avant, featured a turbocharged five-cylinder engine.

Since then, the RS badge has been applied to cars with five-cylinder, V6, V8 and V10 petrol engines, but never a vehicle with a four-cylinder engine.

Mercedes-AMG, conversely, sells four-cylinder-powered models such as the A45 AMG, while BMW’s new high-performance 1-Series, the M135i xDrive, has switched to a turbocharged four-cylinder engine.