Audi Ends Ultra-Hot Four-Cylinder Development, Claiming Lack of Panache

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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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  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Sep 29, 2016

    An Audi 5-cylinder engine typically makes all sorts of lifter clackety noises, and wouldn't be appropriate for modern use. :P

  • Wsn Wsn on Oct 01, 2016

    The cost is simply too high when a test defeat program can't be used.

  • Ollicat I have a Spyder. The belt will last for many years or 60,000-80,000 miles. Not really a worry.
  • Redapple2 Cadillac and racing. Boy those 2 go together dont they? What a joke. Up there with opening a coffee shop in NYC. EvilGM be clowning. Again.
  • Jbltg Rear bench seat does not match the front buckets. What's up?
  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )