MONACO--As Audi expands its A5 and S5 family of vehicles, it's shrinking their engines.
The new A5 Cabriolet, which reaches U.S. dealerships next winter, will be offered with a 2-liter turbocharged engine, among other power train configurations. Also, the A5 coupe will get the same four-cylinder engine starting with the 2010 model, which goes on sale this summer.
"It's a strategy of downsizing that we're applying across the portfolio," said Carter Balkcom, A5 product manager for Audi of America, here this month at a media launch for the A5/S5 cabriolets, ahead of the Geneva auto show.
The A5 coupe now is available in the United States only with a 3.2-liter V-6 with direct injection. Its more powerful sibling, the S5 coupe, comes standard with a 4.2-liter V-8.
But Audi will drop the V-8 from the S5 coupe at the end of the 2010 model year. Replacing it will be the same 3-liter supercharged V-6 that comes standard in the new S5 Cabriolet.
In the coupe and cabriolet models, the S5 will be mated with Audi's new S-tronic seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The S5 coupe also will continue to be available with a manual transmission.
"The idea is to get the same performance as the V-8 offers but be able to do it with a more efficient power train," Balkcom said.
For example, he said, the "engineering objective" for the S5 coupe is to achieve the same 0-to-60-mph time with the 3-liter V-6 as with the 4.2-liter V-8. According to Audi, the supercharged V-6 delivers 333 hp and 325 pounds-feet of torque compared with 354 hp and 325 pounds-feet with the V-8.
Audi isn't abandoning the V-8 altogether, Balkcom said: "In a lot of our higher-volume applications, you're going to see that we will possibly be swapping V-8s for supercharged V-6s or other technologies in the future."
(Source: Automotive News)