Europe’s stringent emission laws have forced some shuffling deep within some of the continent’s biggest automakers, a lot of whom have had to make sacrifices on killing off their eight-cylinder engines in favor of settling for the six-cylinder variety. BMW and Mercedes are two such companies that have already taken to downgrading the powertrain for their performance vehicles and now, it appears that Audi is following suit.
Word from Car and Driver seems to indicate that the German company will be using turbocharged V-6 engines on its RS-branded lines, including the RS4 . No longer will the company’s sports line hitting production V-8, instead the focus will now center on those turbo V-6s, smaller in displacement but no less powerful once you add those turbochargers into the mix.
That’s looking like Audi’s plan for the RS4, which really is as much a return to its previous form than it is a downgrade of sorts. After all, as recent as 2001, the RS4 Avant packed a 2.7-liter, twin-turbo V-6 under its hood, so it’s not like Quattro GmbH is venturing into unchartered territory when it comes to marrying the two sides together.
The important thing for the RS4 is to not cheapen its value relative to the new BMW M4 and the redesigned M3 . It wouldn’t look too good for Audi if it cut power from its prized sports wagon, so you can still expect the vehicle to generate more than 400 horsepower.
Anything less would spell trouble for Audi given that its predecessor already had 450 ponies and other manufacturers have seemingly integrated those turbocharged V-6s into producing stout levels of output.
Only time will tell what Audi has in store for the RS4, but if those twin-turbo V-6s carry their weight, nobody’s going to be crying a river over the loss of those V-8s.
Note: Current Audi RS4 Avant pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Audi RS4.