When leading trade publisher Ward’s Automotive Group recently set out to recognize the world’s 10 best automotive engines for 2009, one turbocharged four cylinder stood out. The Audi 2.0 TFSI I-4 won a place on the list for the fourth consecutive year.
The recognition validated a core strategy at Audi: That highly efficient engines can handily deliver the personality that discriminating premium luxury car buyers expect when they get behind the steering wheel. Central to this philosophy is an engineering orientation rooted in maximizing engine performance – whether that means fuel consumption or power and sportiness.
Over the past year, the U.S. luxury car market has started to break toward Audi’s position on engine technology. As long as fuel prices remain volatile, luxury buyers are putting efficiency at the top of their shopping priority lists.
“There is an outmoded assumption that bigger is automatically better when it comes to engines powering the world’s premier luxury models,” said Johan de Nysschen, executive vice president, Audi of America. “In fact, we’re watching the market begin to dispel that myth and put top-shelf value on efficiency. Audi’s showing them they can gain that and not surrender the enjoyable aspects of motoring.”
While the blend of efficiency and sportiness applies across Audi’s engine lineup, the Ward’s 10 Best Engines editors took note of the 2.0 TFSI I-4′s significant improvements since winning a place in the rankings for 2008.
The newest Audi 2.0 TFSI engine produces substantial improvements over its predecessor by turning out 5.5 percent more horsepower (211 hp vs 200 hp) and a whopping 24.6 percent more torque (258 lb.-ft. vs. 207 lb.-ft.).
To put the new 2.0 TFSI I-4 engine’s performance into perspective, consider that the engine used in the high-performance 2003-model-year S4 also achieved 258 lb.-ft. of torque. But it did so with a V-6, bi-turbo configuration.
The new 2.0 TFSI I-4 first hit the U.S. market in the all-new A4 sedan and Avant models that went on sale this past fall. In the new A4, the updated 2.0 TFSI I-4 achieved 11 percent fuel-efficiency gains, making the A4 the most economical car in its class at the filling station.
Ward’s selected its 10 best Engines from a list of 32 finalists. The nominees underwent two months of testing by Ward’s editors. Ward’s also requires the engines on the list to be available in regular-production, U.S.-specification models available for purchase no later than the first quarter of 2009 at prices no higher than $54,000.