Having made its official debut in South Africa back in August at the Kyalami Festival of Motoring after bowing in Barcelona last June, the Marketing Manager of Audi Australia has confirmed comments made last year that the second generation A1 will not spawn a performance S or RS model.
In a simple to response to carsguide.com.au on the matter, Shawn Ticehurst stated that, “S and RS are quattro brands”, in reference to the Ingolstadt’s famed four-wheel-drive system which, although offered on the A1’s MQB platform, has been deemed unsuitable due to space conflicts.
The confirmation comes after Audi Head of Communications, Peter Oberndorfer, told caradvice.com.au at the launch in Spain that high production costs originating from the quattro system itself, combined with the S1’s 2.0 TFSI engine and sole option of a six-speed manual gearbox, had resulted in slow sales and not worth carrying over into the latest A1.
“Honestly it’s difficult, with that platform, it’s difficult. You remember the first series of the A1 quattro was very expensive to build,” the former DTM racer told the Australian online publication in reference the MQB platform that replaced the PQ25 underpinned first generation A1.
“The S1 was also not easy to do because it was done later, it was not originally on the platform. It was quite an investment. It was a great car but nowadays we have to focus more and more [on other developments] and it’s getting more and more difficult”.
The axing of the S1 therefore means that the current topping A1 comes in the form of the 40 TFSI that shares its 2.0 TFSI engine with the Polo GTI, albeit detuned to 147kW/320Nm with drive going to the front wheels via a seven-speed S tronic gearbox.
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