Audi will reportedly be the first Volkswagen Group brand to introduce a powerful new four-cylinder turbocharged engine, set to debut before the end of the year. The engine, a development of the EA888 unit used in the 2015 Audi S3, 2015 VW GTI and various other VW products, is set to become the most powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in production--beating even the 355-horsepower output of Mercedes' A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG.
According to Motoring, it's expected to develop at least 280 kilowatts of power, which equates to 375 horsepower--resulting in more than 187 horsepower per liter. It'll also develop prodigious torque, at almost 370 pound-feet. The first applications are thought to be an S3 Plus model and a future performance version of the new 2015 Audi TT, most likely the TTS.
The insane power figures have been achieved with the use of a custom-built cylinder head, a new ECU, a larger turbocharger and a different exhaust system, though the block, crankcase, crankshaft and conrods of the standard EA888 are retained. Ironically, it's said to have been developed by Friedrich Eichler, who developed Mercedes' own uber-powerful four-cylinder and was poached by VW last year.
The resulting output is also higher than the 355 horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque developed by the 2.5-liter five-cylinder unit in the Audi RS 3 and TT RS--but the new four-cylinder isn't expected to replace the old five-pot. Instead, RS models are likely to become even more powerful. Speaking to Motoring, an Audi source confirmed that there will be "no overlap" between the new unit and the existing five-cylinder, adding that there's still development potential in the five-cylinder.
As for the four-cylinder, beyond its use in several hot Audis, it may well feature in VW-branded products, including possibly a new Golf R Evo, which is tipped to appear in concept form at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show in April.
Stay tuned for an update.