Guess What Happened To Audi's Plans For A 420 Horsepower Four-Banger?


Another cool VW project is the victim of budget cuts.

One of the more outdated phrases of our time claims that there is no replacement for displacement, but little by little, we’ve been finding that the statement isn’t exactly true. An army of new Ferraris offering extra helpings of horsepower courtesy of turbochargers and electric motors is one piece of evidence to prove naysayers otherwise, but another comes in the form of the high output four-cylinder engine. Volvo has plans to make that happen, and before Autoblog it shot down, so did Audi.

At the 2014 Geneva Auto Show, Audi came bearing the TT Quattro Sport Concept. Not only was that car indicative of the styling changes that would be made to the model to bring it to its present aesthetic, but it bore an engine that could blow the competition away. The 420 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque wasn’t the attention grabber here. It’s size, 2.0 liters and four cylinders, unheard of for a production car, was what promised to bring engine technology into the future as long as it could be pulled off. Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where the dream is killed off before it has a chance to be brought to light. It’s not that making such a power-dense engine with production car reliability is impossible.

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Volvo is trying to prove that with its own 450 horsepower 2.0-liter four-banger. What happened is that Volkswagen is out of money to spend on such outlandish projects. You can blame that on the money leak entitled "Dieselgate." The mandate comes straight from the lips of Stephan Reil, the engineering boss for Audi’s Quattro division. He said, "If we go for the four, to have that specific power output from a 2.0-liter, the engine is unbelievably expensive and then we still have only a four-cylinder engine." For now, it appears that Audi is content with the V6 Porsche Panamera engine, but as the rule of downsizing clamps down further on the internal combustion engine, we could easily picture the power plant being revisited.