After years of rumors and speculation, the Audi RS1 has reportedly been approved.
Sporting 280 horsepower and four-wheel drive, the Audi RS1 will compete with the MINI John Cooper Works models as well as the Ford Fiesta ST. It will also serve as a farewell bow for the current-generation A1, as the next-generation model is expected to arrive by 2018. Given the timing, Autocar reports that the RS1 will go on sale in Europe next year and has reportedly been extensively benchmarked against the MINI JCW.
Expect the Audi RS1 to be powered by the Volkswagen Group’s popular EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine generating around 280 horsepower. That would give it more than 50 additional ponies over the S1 that has 228 hp. Transmission choices will likely include a standard six-speed manual and a newly developed seven-speed dual-clutch unit.
Like the S1, the RS1 should be offered in three- and five-door body styles, but don’t expect it to be heading to the U.S. anytime soon, considering the A1 isn’t sold in North America. Yet again, Audi is offering another high-performance product that only Europeans get to enjoy.