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S4, S5 face four-cylinder future

2009-03-13 11:51
If the though of Audi’s current S4 having shed two

If the though of Audi’s current S4 having shed two cylinders and added forced induction upsets you, don’t read any further. The sixth generation S4 will feature a four-cylinder turbocharged engine configuration.

Audi’s director of engineering says the future of 'S' branded products will be featherlight aluminium structures and turbocharged, four-cylinder engines.

Performance enthusiasts are cognisant of the current Audi S4, launched in left-hand drive markets late last year, eschewing V8 power for a tuned version of Audi’s new 3l, supercharged V6 TFSI engine. It has been a move not universally applauded, as it signals the beginning of the end for Audi’s acoustically revered V8 performance engines.

The sixth generation S4 (due in 2014), will take the engine rationalisation program even further, employing four-cylinder turbocharged power.

Boss want's lighter cars, smarter design

Audi’s head of engineering, Michael Dick, admitted to US journalists that Audi’s ‘S’ range will henceforth use advanced aluminium construction techniques to trim as much weight as possible, enabling future four-cylinder, turbocharged engines to provide the requisite performance credentials.

Using the next generation S5 as an example, Dick says Audi will bring to market a car approximately 400kg lighter, thanks to advanced aluminium and magnesium chassis and bodywork designs. This should offset much of the performance anxiety most Audi acolytes might suffer from with regards to the idea of four-cylinder ‘S’ products.

Second generation S5 prototypes currently lapping the Nurburgring weigh 1 360kg, appreciably lighter than production S5s at 1 675kg. Dick says the new cars are eight seconds a lap faster and should come to market in 2011, powered by the current S4’s 3l, TFSI V6 producing 245kW.

The 3l TFSI V6 is merely an intermediary step towards highly tuned, smaller capacity, four-cylinder power turbo power for future 'S' cars, which blends seamlessly with Audi's Quattro and original S4 heritage...





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