Audi is one of those companies who have always tried to trounce everyone else in supremacy for technology. It was this innovative excellence that has helped Audi not only create some of the most memorable and legendary cars on the planet but also has helped Audi stamp its authority in the motorsport world. For past 40 years, one of the core pillars of company’s legend has been the iconic Audi 5 Cylinder Engine which has been at the heart of some of the best examples of automobile engineering ever. This Audi 5 Cylinder Engine is Celebrating 40 Year Anniversary this year and we look back in time to talk about this engine.
In 1976 the second-generation Audi 100 brought with it a newly developed Audi 5 Cylinder engine. This engine would achieve a cult status in coming years. The second-generation Audi 100 was supposed to be positioned higher than its predecessor and thus needed a bigger more powerful engine. Audi had to choose among a 5 Cylinder engine or a 6 Cylinder engine for the new Audi 100, however, the 6 Cylinder engine was deemed too big to fit into the limited space available and possibilities of an uneven weight distribution. Thus, the 5 Cylinder engine was chosen and the EA 827 engine concept was green lit. In production the first Audi 5 Cylinder engine produced 136bhp from its 2,100cc displacement.
In 1978 Audi presented its first Diesel 5 Cylinder engine which was a naturally aspirated engine producing 70bhp. Audi innovation continued with the world’s first turbocharged 5 Cylinder Engine that produced 170bhp and 265Nm that powered the Audi 200 5T. However, it was in 1980, when Audi created one of the most legendary names in the automotive world, the Audi Quattro. The Quattro had a turbo-charged engine with an intercooler while a permanent all-wheel drive system made sure that the car decimated its rally competitors with ease. It was the car that won 1983 drivers’ title in the World Rally Championship for its driver Hannu Mikkola. The Sport Quattro arrived in 1983 with a wide-track and a monstrous 306bhp Audi 5 Cylinder engine. The Sport Quattro was the most powerful Audi in its era and it gave birth to Audi’s Group B rally car Quattro A2 with a staggering 360bhp.
The milestones kept coming for the Audi 5 Cylinder engine even after Audi withdrew from rally scene in 1986. The Quattro Audi 5 Cylinder engine powered Quattro S1 won Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1987 with Walter Röhrl behind the wheel. The S1 had a power output of 598bhp while IMSA GTO became a touring car championship powerhouse with its 720bhp of power. The Audi 5 Cylinder engine that powered the GTO was just above 2000cc in displacement.
Even on the diesel engine development front, the Audi 5 Cylinder engine design did not lag behind (pun intended). In 1989, Audi unveiled the 100 TDI which was powered by the world’s first five-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged diesel engine; the engine had 2500cc displacement that produced 120bhp. The Audi 5-Cylinder engine, in both its gasoline and diesel avatars kept growing until the Audi A4 arrived in 1994 with its range of V6 engines. The last Audi 5 Cylinder engine in 1997 featured in Audi A6 (2.5 TDI) and the Audi S6 (2.3 Turbo). The world thought that the Audi 5 Cylinder engine was confined to history.
However, 2009 saw the Audi 5 Cylinder engine arrive back with a bang in the TT RS, RS 3 Sportsback and the RS Q3. Since then the Audi 5 Cylinder engine had continuously featured in the TT range with the latest generation car having a 2.5 TFSI engine producing 400bhp. Another feather in the Audi 5 Cylinder Engine cap I the “Engine of the Year” award which it has been wining since 2010 consecutively. For more information on it, you can visit Audi. DO let us know your favourite Audi 5 Cylinder engine powered car in the comments section below.