Road & Track recently created a list of the best five-cylinder cars in history. As you’d probably already imagine, there aren’t many five-cylinder cars on the market. Currently, it’s possible that only Audi, Volkswagen and Volvo use the five-banger engine. It’s kinda sad, as five-cylinders have a strange growl to them, thanks to the odd firing order, which gives them more character than the average four-cylinder.
The list features several Audi’s, including the TT RS, RS2 (a 315 hp wagon), the new RS3 and obviously the original Audi Quattro. The Audi Quattro is easily the most influential five-cylinder engined car in recent memory. Its 2.5 liter turbocharged 5er made around 217 hp, was mated to a five-speed manual and powered all four wheels, via Audi’s newly (at the time) founded Quattro system. The Quattro was originally developed for rally duty, as the World Rally Championship changed the rules to allow four-wheel drive cars, so Audi jumped on board.
Unfortunately, it was never a commercial success, at least here in the ‘States. It’s strange hatchback body style never really caught on and it was a bit too much of a monster for many to handle on the streets. I was essentially a fire-spitting rally car for the road. What a shame, as the Audi Quattro is one of the more desirable ’80s German cars in the world.
But it’s telling that after all of these years, only a handful of cars came with a five-cylinder engine and even fewer were great. Sure, many modern Volkswagens have 2.5 liter five-cylinder engines, but that’s one of the worst examples of the engine. The Audi Quattro made the five-cylinder cool all those years ago and it’s still the best example of it.Road & Track]