• Apr 9th 2010 at 5:34PM
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2010 Audi S4 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Producing an engine that meets Audi's dual criteria of performance and efficiency is not an easy task. The German automaker can usually get one part of the equation right. For example, when Ward's Auto tested the 4.2-liter V8 motor found in the Audi S4 back in 2004, they were so impressed that they named it one of their 10 best for three years running.

With such a spectacular engine, why would Audi decide to ditch it in favor of something else? The answer is simple: at 15 miles per gallon in city driving, the 4.2-liter V8 was way too thirsty for buyers. Audi went back to the engineering room and came up with a stellar new V6. The V6-equipped S4 returns 27 percent better fuel economy than the V8 and, surprisingly, it's quicker than the V8. Our review of the new S4 confirmed that the company made a wise move.

Achieving better performance while increasing efficiency is remarkable and Audi believes that its future offerings will continue down this path. As Audi spokesman Christian Bokich told Ward's Auto, "Audi is pursuing an engine downsizing strategy when appropriate for the market segment." When prodded about certain high performance offerings such as the R8 and the RS 5 Coupe, Bokich said, "We will only downsize the engines in these top-of-the-lines vehicles when customers demand it."

If Audi can make downsized engines for the top-level offerings that yield better performance and enhanced fuel economy, you better believe that people will demand it. We say, bring on a twin-turbo, 500-hp four-cylinder capable of 30 miles per gallon and stuff it in the R8. We dare you, Audi!

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[Source: Ward's Auto]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM, Toyota, Mercedes, Audi, Honda, Nissan, Ford . . . everyone is going hard on fuel economy.

      Something tells me they've been thinking about the peak oil problem.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ah, no. For once, someone is thinking *long term*. How refreshing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lol no.. it's upcoming CAFE regulations, dude :P

      • 5 Years Ago
      Ummm 4 cylinder with 500 hp and 30 mpg? That's garbage Audi already has the Vw sourced W10 or w12 TDI with 500 + hp in the concept R8 that can do 30 +MPG, If they put a 4 in there it should give 100+ MPG.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Go Audi, they are my favorite brand...great technology, great looks...
      • 5 Years Ago
      BRING BACK THE INLINE 5. Just makes sense to me. And I cant wait to see what this engine downsizing can do to bump power in Audi's already impressive 2.0 I mean how much more can be had.
        • 5 Years Ago
        but what about the crappy vibration characteristics of a motor like that.. you need burly balance shafts.. it seems less efficient ultimately. It can also only rev so high before sounding like ass.

        Plenty can be done with an inline 4! Even GM is getting ~260 horsepower out of a turbo 2.0.

        Or be a real man and put in an inline 6 :P
        • 5 Years Ago
        Okay I have to give it to you the inline 6 is a beauty, RB26's and 2JZ's and of course the BMW's on going 6's. That being said I dont think Audi has a history with them. And besides have you heard the inline 5 in the Ford RS500? Talk about SAWEEET!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Electric, Audi, go **electric**. An affordable eTron A3 or A4 will do the trick. You're welcomed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Achieving better performance while increasing efficiency is remarkable and Audi believes that its future offerings will continue down this path."

      It's only remarkable in that it wasn't being done earlier. A lighter engine means less power required for the same acceleration. Lighter weight means less polar moment of inertia and hence better handling.

      Horsepower sells. Cylinder numbers sell. Displacement sells. Lightness passes you in the corners.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I heard a quote attributed to Ferd Porche some 40 years ago rephrasing " soon engines will be so small, we can put them anywhere we want in cars". He was a pretty sharp guy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Peak oil and CAFE? That's a laugher! It's competition and a weak economy, Buddy! They have to make better cars or people will keep what they have!
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