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Engine anniversary at Audi: The five-cylinder turns 40

Engine anniversary at Audi
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D he five-cylinder engines from Audi have achieved cult status - they led the Ingolstadt-based people in motorsport achieved numerous successes, and their characteristic sound on the streets is still an emotional experience today.

The five-cylinder gasoline engine made its debut in 1976 in the Audi 100 (C2), four years after one from Ferdinand Piëch developed five-cylinder diesel at Mercedes in the 240 D 3.0 went into production. The Audi model, known internally as the Type 43, was to be positioned higher than its predecessor in the market. The four-cylinder engines of the time were not enough for the developers for this project. That is why Audi engineers discussed the use of five-cylinder and six-cylinder in-line engines in the early 1970s. The latter were ruled out due to the installation space and the unfavorable weight distribution. So those in charge opted for the five-cylinder in-line engine, which was based on the EA 827 engine concept, which was still young at the time. This four-cylinder in-line engine was used in the 7 series throughout the VW Group, for example in the Audi 80 and Audi 100. The 2.1-liter five-cylinder derived from it developed 136 hp. A modern injection system increased efficiency and power delivery. The Audi 100 5E was delivered in March 1977.

The first Audi five-cylinder made its debut in 1976.

With turbo for the top model

As early as 1978, Audi presented the first diesel version with five pots: a naturally aspirated diesel with a displacement of two liters and 70 hp. A year later, the five-cylinder gasoline engine with turbocharging was equipped for higher levels. With 170 hp and 265 Nm, he was given the task of fueling the new top model - the Audi 200 5T.

The five-cylinder gasoline engine in the Audi Urquattro from 1980 was even biggeron. Combined with turbocharging, charge air cooling and permanent all-wheel drive, it made 200 hp at the start of sales. The Finn Hannu Mikkola won the driver's title in the World Rally Championship with this car in 1983. In the same year, Audi presented the 24 centimeters shorter and wider-gauge Sport Quattro. A newly developed four-valve five-cylinder made of light metal with now 306 hp provided propulsion. This made the Sport Quattro the most powerful car ever offered by a German company for public road traffic. The model formed the basis for a new Group B rally car in which the four-valve engine delivered 450 hp right from the start. It was used for the first time in the penultimate race in 1984, the Ivory Coast Rally. Swede Stig Blomqvist contested the remaining eleven races of the season with the 360 ​​hp Audi Quattro A2, Group B. In the end, he won the driver's title and Audi the brand world championship.

The new edition followed in 2009 - now with a displacement of 2.5 liters.

From the rally slope to the circuit

Even after Audi left rally events in 1986, further highlights followed on the racetrack: Walter Röhrl won with the 598 hp Audi Sport Quattro S1 (E2) 1987 the hill climb on Pikes Peak (USA). And the IMSA-GTO excelled in the US touring car scene in 1989 with 720 hp - still with a displacement of just over two liters.

The next bang followed at the IAA in 1989. The Audi 100 TDI . It was the first production car with a direct-injection five-cylinder turbo diesel and fully electronic engine management. The unit drew 120 hp from a displacement of 2.5 liters. And Audi continued to hold on to the five-cylinder. The Audi RS 2 Avant came onto the market in 1994. With the help of Porsche, its five-cylinder engine develops 315 hp.

With the introduction of the Audi A4 (B5) in 1994, the five-cylinder engines said goodbye to the B segment. The new V6 engines gradually replaced them in the mid-1990s. The last five-cylinder, the 2.5 TDI in the Audi A6 and the 2.3 Turbo in the Audi S6, ran out in 1997.

Rossen Gargolov
In the TT Clubsport study, the five-cylinder with 600 hp was covered.

Return of the five-cylinder engine

The big comeback followed in 2009 - with turbocharging and gasoline direct injection in the Audi TT RS. The new five-cylinder engine produced 340 hp from a displacement of 2.5 liters. Further races in the RS 3 Sportback and in the RS Q3 followed, the output rose to 367 hp. In the latest expansion stage, the new five-cylinder even has 400 hp in the Audi TT RS. The potential of the five-cylinder is also shown by various Audi studies, some of which can mobilize up to 600 hp.


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