The 280 kW 2,0-litre turbo-petrol engine currently doing duty in the Mercedes-AMG A45 is the most powerful production four-cylinder mill in the world. But, a couple of years back, Audi developed a 309 kW four-pot that had a real chance of finding its way into a production vehicle and grabbing that title.
Unfortunately, the Ingolstadt automaker has now confirmed that this EA 888 engine is, well, “dead” (to quote the chief of quattro GmbH, Stephan Reil).
“The 400 hp EA 888 engine is dead,” Reil told motoring.au.com at the recent international launch of the TT RS.
“It’s only 12kg lighter than the five-cylinder engine and we could get the five to 309 kW if we needed to, so there’s nowhere for it to go,” he explained.
The high-output version of the EA 888 engine was first revealed in 2014, nestling under the bonnet of the Audi TT Quattro Sport Concept pictured above. A similar engine was also due to power the production Volkswagen Golf R400, a project that was scrapped earlier this year.
The powerplant was engineered by Friedrich Eichler, who joined the Volkswagen Group after helping develop Mercedes-AMG’s record-breaking four-banger.
Audi has managed to extract yet more power from its renowned 2,5-litre five-cylinder mill, which in its latest guise (in the TT RS) makes 294 kW and 480 N.m. And that means there’s little justification for the likely costly exercise of putting the high-performance version of the EA 888 four-pot into production.