Audi Ends Ultra-Hot Four-Cylinder Development, Claiming Lack of Panache
Four-cylinder engines have come a long way since the tepid entry-level powerplants of yesteryear, but despite gains in power and refinement, it’s still a four-banger.
That stigma, as well as cost, has led Audi to ditch its production plans for one of the hottest four-cylinders ever developed, reports Autoblog.
The high-performing version of the automaker’s familiar EA888 2.0-liter was revealed at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, tucked under the hood of the Audi TT Quattro Sport Concept. With 420 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque on tap, the engine raised the power bar for the 2.0-liter class.
That was then, and this is now. Speaking at the launch of the TT RS, Stephan Reil, engineering head for Audi’s Quattro GmbH division, said the 420 hp four is off the table. Instead, Audi’s newly refined turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder will power the TT RS, while other Volkswagen Group models can kiss the EA888 upgrade goodbye.
“The 400-horsepower EA888 engine is dead,” Reil told Autoblog. “If we go for the four, to have that specific power output from a 2.0-liter, the engine is unbelievably expensive and then we still have only a four-cylinder engine.”
A five-cylinder sounds better and has more gravitas, Reil insists. It’s also an engine the struggling Volkswagen Group can afford, as the company slashes unnecessary programs in the wake of the wildly expensive diesel emissions scandal.
When first unveiled, the engine stood as a testament to Audi’s engineering prowess. Heavily touted by company executives, including former technical development boss Ulrich Hackenberg, the mill was said to launch the TT to 62 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds.
As it turns out, the 400 hp turbo five matches that number, while offering a better torque figure (354 lb-ft).
[Image: Audi AG]
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