Friday, March 13, 2009

RumorMill : 2014 Audi S4 and S5 to lose massive weight, and use a turbocharged 4-cylinder engines ?

Weight reduction is now a major part of developing a new car. Lighter weight gives the car better power-to-weight ratio, and improves fuel efficiency. However, being obsessed by lighter weight, just ruins the definition of power, because one of the main weight reduction methods is replacing the big naturally-aspirated engine with a smaller engine with a boost injection. That's exactly what's happening to Audi nowadays.

The new 2010 Audi S4 and S5 Cabriolet have replaced the big muscly 4.2L naturally-aspirated FSI V8, with a supercharged 3.0L TFSI V6. While that may sound like going backwards for sports cars like these, the new engine still develops 333hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Which can still make those cars have flaunt fast acceleration, and because the engine is only a V6, they'll have an increase in fuel-economy numbers for environmentally-friendliness. So the only sacrifice is missing the V8 growl engine note.

However, it worries us to see Audi obsessing about in using lighter weight engines and boost injection, because sports cars like these should still be about luxury performance, and making cars way too light just ruins it. So it's sad to hear that Audi has went step further with weight reduction for the next-generation S4 and S5.

According to CARandDRIVER, who interviewed Michael Dick, Audi’s global head of product engineering, said that Audi is testing the next-generation 2014 S5 which is lighter by the current model an amazing 880 pounds. Dick told CARandDRIVER that the next-generation model will feature more aluminum, magnesium and high-strength steel to help cut excess weight. That will applied to future Audi models including the next-generation Audi A6 and the use of those materials will increase significantly in the A4, A5, S4 and S5 in the 2014 model years.
Not bad so far, but this is were it gets horribly wrong. During the interview, Dick mentioned that Audi is planning to replace the supercharged 3.0L V6 in the 2010 S4 and S5 with an even lighter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. That will help fuel-economy come in at over 25 mpg fuel efficiency. So, does that mean we’ll be giving up a faster S5 for the sake of higher miles-per-gallon? If it does, then we could nearly see the end of big-displacement engines at Audi.

Nevertheless, in Audi's defence, Dick says the light-weight 3,000 pound next-generation S5 “laps Germany’s famed Nurburgring Nordschleife eight seconds faster than the current S5.” We still don't know whether to love the next-generation S4 and S5 or not, so we to have a bit of trust in Audi that they'll keep on-track on making pure sportscars.

Source : [CARandDRIVER]

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