Despite recent engine trends pointing to downsizing and electrification, Audi’s five-cylinder turbocharged engine is in no immediate danger, as the company is already working on making it friendlier to the environment.
In an interview with WhichCar, Audi Sport’s chief Oliver Hoffmann admitted that the turbo-five is still a big part of the brand’s future plans, and it will soon meet Euro 7 emission standards.
“It is more difficult, but it’s not just a question of how difficult it is”, said Hoffmann. “For EU7, we have concepts for all our engines, but it’s just a matter of how much money I have to spend to reach those targets. For the five-cylinder, we have a very, very good concept to reach those standards.”
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Hoffmann’s ambitions have been confirmed by Audi Sport product planner Annette Mollhoff, who added: “It’s our number one USP (unique selling proposition) in those models, and every time we launch a new model with the five-cylinder, we get the feedback that ‘we are so happy you stick to that engine and don’t downgrade to the four-cylinder’”.
Helping the five-banger meet new emissions rules could be done in a number of different ways. One scenario sees it working alongisde a mild-hybrid system, which is already becoming a norm in the industry. Also, the mill could get belt-driven starter/generators and cylinder deactivation technology.
Audi’s five-cylinder power unit, which can trace its roots all the way back to the legendary Quattro, is currently being used in the RS3 Sportback, RS3 Sedan and TT RS, with 2.5 liters in displacement. It’s also expected to power the 2020 RS Q3 and first-ever RS Q3 Sportback, which is in development.
Some think that the next-gen Volkswagen Golf R might get the same engine, but there’s no official word on that yet.