Audi preps five-pot for Benz battle

words - Michael Taylor
Five-cylinder Audi engine comes in for major upgrades to stay competitive with AMG's first turbo four

Audi’s go-fast workshop is frantically revamping its turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine to meet both emissions challenges and the wild new 2.0-litre turbo-four that will power Mercedes’ upcoming A45 AMG hatchback.

Stunned by the power and performance figures being leaked for AMG’s first ever four-cylinder engine, Audi’s quattro division is busy reworking the five-pot powerplant’s combustion process in a search for more power, more torque and fewer emissions.

While he guaranteed that the five-cylinder engine, used in both the TTRS and RS3, had a strong future, quattro development boss Stephan Reil also admits it needed a lot of work.

“The five-cylinder engine will have a big future with us,” Mr Reil told “But the numbers I see from AMG’s engine are enormous from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder. ?

“It’s OK to make those kinds of numbers with a competition engine, but in standard production engines that need to cope with all sorts of different conditions?

“But competition is competition and that’s what makes it a fun business to be in,” he smiled.

That competition has seen his development counterpart at AMG, Tobias Moers, claim that his A45 AMG is around six seconds faster around the Nurburgring Nordschleife than the RS3.

While the threat of a 260kW AMG A45 with 450Nm of torque is becoming all too real for quattro, its higher priority is the EU6 emissions regulations, slated to be introduced in Europe by September 2014.

“The five-cylinder engine has to be EU6-compliant and we have to modify it,” said Mr Reil.

“We have to work on its combustion processes because the step to EU6 is quite a big one. Then we have to work on the catalysts and from there it’s just geometry. We have to have the air coming in to the cylinder in rolling waves to produce as little pollution as possible.

“But we are happy with that engine. Everybody is happy with that engine.”

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Published : Thursday, 20 December 2012
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