A cylinder count that might be more in place in a Ford Fiesta has now made its way behind the now garden-variety Audi single frame grille. Why? It’s not clear, but in the same way that Fiat put out their sub 1 liter 500, this is likely a bid to knock down CO2 figures. Known as the fizzy and buzzy powerplant from the VW Polo, the current mill in that car makes 104 horsepower and should make just enough torque to sit in traffic like everyone else. Is it a bit odd? Sure, but Euro-spec cars often have things like roll up windows, no air conditioning and no power steering as standard on their cars, so is it out of place for a couple of tiny Audis to have comparable performance to a slightly less expensive Mini, such as the AWD Countryman? No.
Audi has indicated that they will try this stunt off in the A1 first, so as not to shock the market and have given no suggestions that this is going to be part of some sort of fuel sipping crazy-efficient hybrid powertrain. So don’t be shocked to see a base model A3 with a 3 banger or A1 fitted as such at a Whole Foods near you, right next to the Subaru Crosstrek hybrids and such, though you may need to be outside of North America to see these as there is no indication as to whether or not these are coming to the United States. In an interview with AutoExpress, at the Beijing Auto Show, Audi’s CEO, Rupert Stadler, suggested that “[this] engine will be standard in the future” and that it will deliver “good feeling and plenty of torque.” Let’s hope that this mill gets uprated a bit for Audi duty; it’s hard to believe that the turbo lag on a 1.4 liter 3 cylinder coupled to an automatic transmission and the residual resistance and weight from Audi’s Quattro AWD system will translate to driving pleasure.
-By: Sawyer Sutton