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Sadly we do not get the Audi 1 here in the States.

We recently were able to spend some time with the brand new MINI John Cooper Works while with MINI during MTTS. We drove it from Richmond, Virginia to Baltimore, Maryland, so we have a pretty good idea of what it’s like. And from that drive alone, we figure it’s a **** good car.

The MINI JCW is fast, hilarious fun to drive, raucous and deadly on a track. However, Audi is planning on its own hot hatch capable of taking the MINI JCW head-on. The Audi RS1.

Based on the current-generation Audi A1, the RS1 will debut early next year. While the four-ringed brand is planning on developing a new A1 for 2018, the RS1 will be based on this current generation. The Audi RS1 will use the Volkswagen Group’s ubiquitous EA888 2.0 liter turbo-four, but should develop around 280 hp. That’s a lot more than the MINI JCW’s 228 hp. But then again, the RS1 will be carrying a bit more weight. While, the RS1 is actually quite tiny, its Quattro all-wheel drive system adds quite a bit of weight. So it needs the extra power.

All of that power will be send to all four wheels through either a six-speed manual or dual-clutch auto. The former would probably be the best choice, as it would bring back memories of old-school Audi rally cars. And, in a way, the RS1 is the closest car Audi would make to those fire-spitting rally-bred monsters. Which is fitting, because while driving the MINI JCW, I kept thinking that it felt like a comfortable rally car. It was loud, stiff, bouncy and twitchy. It felt like driving a rally car that was modified to work on the road and I loved it. So if the RS1 can give that same feeling, it could be quite the competitor.

However, it’s going to be quite a bit more expensive than the JCW. Early predictions have it costing nearly £30,000 (almost $40,000). While that’s a lot for a hatchback, it will be a low-production model and have blistering performance. But I’m not sure that justifies the large price hike over the JCW, which starts at $30,000.

Early renders show the Audi RS1 being a good looking car, nothing gorgeous but cool in its own right. It looks like a typical Audi hot hatchback and that’s fine. The interior should be great, though, as Audi knows how to make small car interiors look and feel great better than almost anyone.

This should be a very interesting matchup when Audi does finally debut the RS1. Both it and the MINI JCW will be some of the most exciting hot hatches on the market and both offer a sort of stripped-out, hardcore motoring feel from two companies that dominated rally stages back in the day. We can’t wait.

http://www.bmwblog.com/2016/08/13/2017-audi-rs1-compete-mini-jcw/
 

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The Audi S1 is already on performance par with the JCW so if this is as bonkers as other RS models then it will fantastic!
 

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It will be ineresting to see if BMW Mini respond if they decide to compete in this new sector...

As menioned above the S1 is already a competitor to the JCW in certain markets

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The Audi S1 is already on performance par with the JCW so if this is as bonkers as other RS models then it will fantastic!
Absolutely, and if they do it, all the more reason for the RS-JCW-Super Challenge F56 model with c. 275bhp out of the factory with a retro-fit performance kit available for those of us who already have one....
 

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Sadly the Challenge is not available (yet) in the US. However, tweaking with power modules, exhausts, and intakes the JCW puts out nearly the 275 figure. That is plenty for a ROF like me!
 

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Sadly the Challenge is not available (yet) in the US. However, tweaking with power modules, exhausts, and intakes the JCW puts out nearly the 275 figure. That is plenty for a ROF like me!
I agree Dan! Even a stock JCW is fantastic!
 

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Interesting! - I'll keep an ear out for this. May chop the JCW for this if/when it comes out.
S1 didn't float my boat but 4wd and 280bhp could be very interesting...
 

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I test drove the golf R, and whilst is def faster it had nowhere near as many smiles per miles as the Mini does.

The dash in the golf R was so boring the test drive nearly put me to sleep.


Truth

I traded R56 for gti

2 months later i was back to mini


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Went from S1 to Cooper S.

S1 is nice but very bland inside compared to mini-e.g. plain dash, generic centre console, smaller screen. There's no 'excitement', it just works, but then again so does the mini-with added feeling of fun. Even outside the only obvious cue that it's something special is the quad exhaust. It doesn't sound as good as my Cooper S and the price isn't really justified.

Gear shift was much more effortless compared to mini also clutch much lighter. Moved it around in the drive after a week of driving the mini and it felt so light!

The only thing i think the A1/S1 needs is an upgraded interior. It's a small fun city car, not a salesman's motorway cruiser.

That said i'll still check out an RS1 :)
 

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The mini factor should and does come into play, the car definitely has its own personality. For myriad reasons it makes me smile and When I am tired and a little down a short drive and a few twisties really brings joy and smiles. Strange how a mechanical creation seems to have a personality of its own. I don't really care why, it works, pops, gurgles, and pows, and I smile and have the occasional chuckle as I head out on a joy drive/ride.
 

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I'm so glad that "nothing" looks like a MINI! I could care less about how competitive an Audi can be to a MINI.
 

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Absolutely, I'm just looking for Mini to deliver a JCW+ power pack, so I dont have to go to aftermarket and invalidate my warranty, plugin module or remap, which is really important to me as a daily driver. Bit of RS1 competition may help Mini to consider this, although I'd never buy an RS1. Fuggly thing if you ask me.
 

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Absolutely, I'm just looking for Mini to deliver a JCW+ power pack, so I dont have to go to aftermarket and invalidate my warranty, plugin module or remap, which is really important to me as a daily driver. Bit of RS1 competition may help Mini to consider this, although I'd never buy an RS1. Fuggly thing if you ask me.

An official power upgrade would be awesome. I'd 100% be up for that..
 

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Well here goes from a totally mini biassed nut case: which would you rather have a mostly unique characterful design ,full of interesting features or a glorified vw polo or worse (or better if you believe customer satisfaction surveys)a skoda fabia in drag. Sorry thats what it is! I do like it but......no contest mini wins every day for me and i'd rather have my cooper than an s1!

SORRY audi fans.
 

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Platform sharing is nothing new, the Mini shares platform with the BMW 2 series (the people carrier not the coupe, and that's not full of sporting pedigree either)

I did look at a S1 before going for a JCW but just wasn't interesting enough. I'll be keeping an eye out at the RS1 to see if it's any better than the S1 and could be interested in chopping the JCW for it. - I'd have had the JCW for 2 years by then...

BTW I live in north Scotland where 4wd makes a bit more sense.
 

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Interesting that they're bringing an RS1 out so close to the end of the car's life cycle.
 

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Audi always bring out the RS model at the end models life.
 

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Keeps the sales up to the bitter end. Yes platform sharing but with yer beer goggles on theyre the same car. The mini is definitelynot any thing like any bmw in terms of looks.
 

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Keeps the sales up to the bitter end. Yes platform sharing but with yer beer goggles on theyre the same car. The mini is definitelynot any thing like any bmw in terms of looks.
I did read that the new Mini's share many components to the bmw 1 series just like VW Audi group ;)

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