And it won't resort to hybridization to achieve that.
Audi may be planning the most powerful version yet of the RS3, according to some comments made by Audi Sport boss Sebastian Grams. Autocar reports that at an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Audi Sport, Gram alluded that the brand will improve upon the venerable inline-five engine that the brand has become famous for. Most importantly, it will be done without the use of electrification.
In Gram's words, he says, "We have a perfect five-cylinder engine which is very unique in the market. We have a six-cylinder engine, and we will improve these technologies [in] the next step. I do not see a need to completely change the engines." He confirms with a simple "yes" that the inline-five could be improved without electrification.
The RS3, whose final non-electrified generation debuted last year to much praise, will soon be the last of only two models (Audi RS Q3) to make use of the inline-five engine once the Audi TT is taken out to pasture this year. We know from Gram himself that the brand has grand plans for RS models, as we've already seen from the RS e-tron GT, but it's exciting that the brand hasn't given up on internal combustion just yet.
He goes on to say that he's thrilled that people have responded so well to the new RS3 that the company even had to pause orders for a little, but there's more to come. "We are not, let's say, finished with the car," he says. "We have the five-cylinder, and we will definitely increase the five-cylinder for the next step. We will improve that."
Improve how is yet to be seen, but we know the engine is capable of much greater power than what we get. With a few mods, the recently unveiled Donkervoot F22 can produce 463 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque from the Audi-sourced five-pot, a significant upgrade over the 401 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque it makes in RS3 form. Tuner ABT was even able to crank out 500 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque from the unit for its tuned RS3 R Sportback.
Audi executives previously told CarBuzz, "Between now and 2026, you will see the best internal combustion cars ever," this latest suggestion from Gram supports that.
If Audi wants to do something crazy, these are the numbers to reach for, if for no other reason than to command a hefty premium on top of the model's $60,900 base price. Whatever the company decides to do, it will be bittersweet to see such an iconic engine get one last shot at internal combustion glory.
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