There are very few car manufacturers around the world who have been able to achieve success and create a decent legacy with five-cylinder engines. In this list, Audi It has an impressive history with five-cylinder petrol engines on both the performance circuit and road-going models. Audi is one of the few automakers to have five-cylinder petrol engines in its current lineup. The series is further improved with the recently unveiled 2022 RS3, in which the popular EA855 five-cylinder petrol engine is in its most powerful avatar ever.
With a unique 1-2-4-5-3 launch command for its uneven cylinder layout, the new EA855 five-cylinder petrol engine in the Audi RS3 claims unparalleled performance. As the world turns toward the realm of silent electric mobility, the EA855 five-cylinder engine from the 2022 Audi RS3 is a rebel with a distinctive exhaust note. Something screams that the era of howling gasoline engines is not over yet.
The EA855 five-cylinder engine in perfect shape in the 2022 Audi RS3
The new Audi RS3 here meets the expectations of enthusiasts who admire high-performance compact sedans. In the 2022 Avatar, the Audi RS gets all the great gadgetry and visual appeal, but what’s at the heart of it is the heart itself – the EA855’s 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine.
The 2.5-liter EA855 petrol engine debuted with the Audi TT RS, but became popular with the 2010 Audi RS3. Audi sincerely wishes to preserve the legacy of the EA855, and as a result, this engine is in its most powerful tuning condition ever in the 2022 RS3. Audi claims a maximum power output of 401 horsepower for the EA855’s five-cylinder engine in the RS3 – an increase of seven horsepower. The torque output of this engine also increased from 354 lb-ft to 369 lb-ft – a commendable fifteen-pound increase.
With these improvements, the results on the tarmac would have been better, too. The engine is now 0.3 seconds faster at 0-60 mph (from 3.9 seconds to 3.6 seconds). With this engine under the hood, the Audi RS3 reached a top speed of 185 mph, making it the fastest five-cylinder engine Audi has ever produced. With a specific power of 160.4 hp per liter, the Audi RS3 with the EA855 five-cylinder engine set a new record for compact cars at the Nürburgring – 7 minutes 40.748 seconds. Want to know how fast it is? For reference, the original Bugatti Veyron 16.4 covered the same lap in 7 minutes 40 seconds!
Historical running of the EA855 five-cylinder engine from Audi
The EA855 five-cylinder takes center stage with the new Audi RS3. However, Audi introduced the EA855 five-cylinder engine for the first time in the Audi TT RS in 2009 with 335 hp. However, the engine stole the spotlight when it found its place in the Audi quattro concept – a model previewed at the 2010 Paris Motor Show that inspired the second-generation R8 and third-generation TT. In this concept, the engine was offered with its most powerful tuning condition – 402.8 hp of maximum power.
The engine entered the production floors of the then RS3 in 2010 and then in the RS Q3 in 2013. Apart from Audi offerings, this engine found its way into other brands’ offerings, such as the KTM X-Bow GTX, KTM X-Bow Concept GT2 and Cupra Formentor. The EA855 five-cylinder engine was named the World’s Most Wanted Engine of the Year in the “2.0L-2.5L” category five times in a row from 2010 to 2014. In 2012, the EA855’s five-cylinder engine became the world’s first engine to include a cylinder block Graphite pressed iron, which made its way into the 2012 Audi TT RS.
The beginning of the era of five-cylinder engines in Audi
In the early 1970s, engineers at Audi received a new assignment to develop a new engine that could meet the best of both worlds. For this new engine, Audi intended to increase performance levels compared to the usual four-cylinder engine at the time without compromising the front of fuel economy.
Given that the six-cylinder engines proved heavier, larger and less fuel-efficient, Audi carved a niche with the invention of the 2.1-liter five-cylinder petrol engine. This 136-horsepower engine debuted in series production in the second generation of the Audi 100 C2 in 1976. Since then, the design of the five-cylinder engine and the famous permanent all-wheel drive system from Audi quattro have been identical in heaven. This combination in the Audi Ur-Quattro helped Finn Hanno Mikkola win the driver’s title in the 1983 World Rally Championship.
While European markets will continue to get the TT RS for some time, 2022 is the last year for the TT RS in the USA. Thus, the legacy of the EA855’s 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine is carried over to the 2022 Audi RS3. The baton is in new hands now, and it will be interesting to see how this beloved and popular engine will fight future emissions standards, which will become more stringent over time.