There's a war being waged in Europe for the highest output from the smallest displacement. Alfa Romeo has managed to squeeze 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque out of a 1.7-liter turbo four for the 4C. Mercedes-Benz has coaxed 355 hp and 332 lb-ft out of a 2.0-liter turbo four to drive the new A45 AMG, CLA45 AMG and GLA45 AMG. But not to be outdone, the Volkswagen Group is said to be working on one of its own that will put both to shame.

The engine is reportedly being based on VW's existing 2.0-liter turbo four, only enhanced to produce a massive 375 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The key to getting there was poaching Friedrich Eichler, the engineer who designed AMG's aforementioned high-output engine, and mandating him to do still better.

That's all well and fine – and perfectly impressive – but just what does VW plan on doing with the new engine? A whole lot, according to reports. It's expected to power the new Scirocco and a new Golf R Evo expected to debut at the Beijing Motor Show in April, and you can bet it'll be slotted into another few applications as well. But the first vehicle expected to get it will be the Audi S3 Plus.

S3 Plus? Don't we mean the new RS3? Not according to the buzz, no. Apparently Audi wants to use the engine to power a hot hatch to slot in between the existing S3 (where the 2.0-liter turbo four produces 290 hp and 280 lb-ft) and the next RS3. The outgoing RS3 packed a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five with 335 hp and 332 lb-ft. Audi thinks that the turbo five has more potential, and that the high-output turbo four will light a fire under the engineers at Quattro GmbH to find every last drop of it.

If you assume the same differential in power between the three increments of Audi hot hatch, we could be looking at a good 460 hp and just as much torque, which would propel the next RS3 and TT RS into positively bonkers territory. That would make it an incredible hundred horses more powerful than the 360-hp TT RS Plus. Which might seem outlandish, but with the A1 Clubsport Quattro concept, Audi has shown that engine can produce as much as 500 hp.


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  • 29 Comments
      RandyQUATTRO
      • 11 Months Ago
      Not surprising since a stage III kit from tuners like APR can push an Audi 2.0T engine to ~370hp (at crank). Main issues with larger turbos on small displacement is turbo lag and fuel pressure. Since this is being developed by Audi, I'm sure those issues will be addressed and handled. Regarding longevity, there are many Audi A4's with original 2.0T engines running larger turbos with 100k + mileage. Weakest link has been the fuel pressure pump and the cam follower wear. My B7 2.0T is tuned with original turbo and it's still fun to drive even after 6+ years. I would like to see a 2.5T in an S3 plus if the US does not get the RS3.
      Christopher Anderson
      • 11 Months Ago
      This makes me happy (and contradicts the assertion that the Golf R Evo would see a "small bump" in power).
      jebibudala
      • 11 Months Ago
      wowzers!
      flc
      • 11 Months Ago
      Crate engine option please :)
      MPLS612
      • 11 Months Ago
      Yes Please!
      Rick
      • 11 Months Ago
      SEXY!!! I wish they wouldn't have killed the hatch. I didn't like the previous gen A3 hatch, but I really like the new hatch and of course now we don't get it. Doubt we'll get the S3 here either :(
      The Wasp
      • 11 Months Ago
      These figures sound great and would be impressive. What I find even more impressive, however, is how little effort VW/Audi have apparently been putting into their small engines thus far. They have seriously lagged behind some competitors by a wide margin. It's hard to imagine them flipping the script overnight. Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised to see this engine reach customers with significantly smaller numbers. It wouldn't be the first time that has happened.
      muspod
      • 11 Months Ago
      just get a gti already...
      Joe
      • 11 Months Ago
      The Germans (especially Audi) have lost their minds.. and that is not a bad thing.
      flc
      • 11 Months Ago
      It's a about time you did something with the 2.0T, audi/vw.... Sheesh....
        normc32
        • 11 Months Ago
        @flc
        Wasted too much time with the 1.8T. At least they are well ahead of the Japanese in turbo-4 offerings.
      ChaosphereIX
      • 11 Months Ago
      yikes, I really do wonder what the power curve will be like...probably would need to get it about 4500 to see any movement worth mentioning...
        AcidTonic
        • 11 Months Ago
        @ChaosphereIX
        More like full boost by 3000rpm I'd suppose..... With proper twin-scroll turbo and dual-variable cams you can spin up a rather large turbo quickly.....
        normc32
        • 11 Months Ago
        @ChaosphereIX
        And some crazy short gear too?
      mikemaj82
      • 11 Months Ago
      Sure why not. Jack up the price on something that was supposed to be an affordable entry level luxury sedan available to all....just like every other manufacturer...
        montoym
        • 11 Months Ago
        @mikemaj82
        The base models are affordable, this is the S3, not the A3. Not sure where you got the idea that the performance models are supposed to be cheap as well. You want to pay less, then get a GTI (or something else) instead of an A3.
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