Audi’s now legendary 2.5-litre five-cylinder performance heart has successfully seen off a number of rival designs to claim this category every year since 2010. But interestingly it’s been diesel products that have put up the greatest fight during that time – first Mercedes’ ever-green 2.1-litre motor and then Mazda’s smooth 2.2-litre runner with its high compression ratio.
Yet the thinking this year was that Audi’s RS 3 and RS Q3 unit, pushing all of 340ps and 466Nm torque for the latter application, would probably have to settle for second place for the first time in its life thanks mainly to all-new competition that for once didn’t come in the form of high-fuel-economy diesel luggers. Enter not only Ford’s already critically acclaimed 2.3 EcoBoost with 350ps for the Focus RS, but also a new 2.5 four-pot turbo with the same output for the Porsche 718 Boxster S.
But even these two new turbo four-cylinder young bucks couldn’t squeeze out Audi’s refreshed RS champ, which has recently been added to the RS 3 to pack 367ps. As the votes rolled in, Audi’s 2.5 marvel showed no signs of giving up its category class crown, sweeping to victory with 103 points more than Porsche’s entry and a 143-point advantage over the fast Ford four-pot.
Oozing performance, character and that classic quattro soundtrack – in addition to some seriously impressive technical measures – the Audi engine fought off the sporting competition this year, as Otohaber Magazine’s Halit Bolkan remarked, “Here’s a five-cylinder that sings so sweet but pumps adrenalin to drivers’ blood vessels.”
And for next year Audi is already sizing up the competition in a bid to make it victory number eight in this grouping: it’s been confirmed the five-cylinder will soon drive Ingolstadt’s most powerful TT yet – the new TT RS – developing 405ps and 480Nm torque. It seems a new benchmark has already been set for the likes of Porsche, Ford and others!