Audi has a rich tradition of building superb engines. From the old-school 2.5 liter turbocharged inline-five that powered the fire-spitting UR Audi Quattro Group B Rally car to the 5.2 liter V10 in the current Audi R8, the brand from Ingolstadt has always been a master engine maker. Its current generation 2.5 liter turbocharged inline five-cylinder engine, which powers the Audi RS3 and Audi TT RS, is one of the best engine in the world and has officially been given that title.
The International Engine of the Year awards have been held annually since 1999 and consists of a panel of 65 international automotive journalists who decide on the engines. There are several different categories for different sizes of engines and different kinds of powertrains, including hybrids. This year, in the “2.0 – 2.5 Liter” category, the Audi 2.5 liter turbocharged I5 engine was considered to be the best in the world.
It’s actually not a shock, as anyone who’s driven that engine will tell you that it’s magnificent. Plus, Audi has been developing turbocharged five-cylinder engines for over 30 years now and has built quite a tradition with it. “The five-cylinder engine has one of the longest traditions within the company and we are continually developing it,” says Dr. Stefan Knirsch, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at AUDI AG. “In the Audi RS Q3 performance* the 2.5 TFSI puts on an impressive show with its tremendous pulling power, enhanced revving ability and characteristic sound. To get us fit for the future, we will be equipping the new Audi TT RS with a newly developed five-cylinder engine made of aluminum.”
The judges of the International Engine of the Year awards seem to agree, “There are only a few engines around with such a strong character, but this five-cylinder power unit brings back memories of the unique sound of the Group B rally engine from the 1980s. The 2.5 TFSI from Audi is not just impressive in terms of its superb performance, it also has a high recognition factor. Through this five-cylinder engine, Audi is allowing the 1980s dream to live on.”
In the current Audi RS3 Sportback, the 2.5 liter engine develops 367 hp and makes one of the most wicked sounds you’ll ever hear coming from a road car. In the upcoming RS3 Sedan, schedule for the US next year, the same engine will develop around 400 hp, making it the most powerful car in its class. That same 400 hp variant of the engine will be used in the upcoming Audi TT RS and TT RS Roadster, which will be one of the coolest sports cars in the world when it debuts. So Audi is using this engine quite a bit, as it’s one of the most charismatic and enjoyable engines on the market to drive. And now it’s official.