Audi Will Electrify RS Cars, but 'Won't Do 4-Cylinder'

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
2023 Audi RS5
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2023 Audi RS5

The Competition pack's visual tweaks are minor.


What's happening

Audi plans to electrify its RS sports cars, but says engine downsizing isn't the key.

Why it matters

Rival Mercedes-Benz recently introduced a new AMG C63 variant that makes 680 horsepower from a four-cylinder engine.

What's next

Audi will soon launch the RS5 Competition, which continues to use a V6 with 444 horsepower.

The latest addition to Audi's US performance stable is the new RS5 Competition -- an amped-up version of a car that could really use a performance boost. And as Audi looks to the future, the automaker knows it'll have to incorporate electrification into its RS5 family to remain competitive. But unlike rival companies, Audi isn't planning to downsize its engines in the process.

"Of course we will also electrify our cars," Constantin Dressler, head of product marketing at Audi Sport, said during a media event in Spain on Wednesday. "But we won't do four-cylinder."

Dressler is obviously referencing the new Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance, a car that makes a staggering 680 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque from a tiny 2.0-liter inline-4 engine. How's that possible? Mercedes fits the C63 with an electric turbocharger and two-speed electric motor mounted on the car's rear axle. Instant torque for the win.

Audi, meanwhile, uses a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 in the RS5 Competition, which makes 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Incorporating some kind of electrification could certainly pump up those numbers, but for exactly what's in store, Audi says we'll have to wait and see.

2023 Audi RS 5 Competition Package Brings the Noise

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