Audi A1 and A3 to get three-cylinder engines

Audi A1 front tracking
Credits: Pete Gibson
23 Apr, 2014 2:01pm Luke Madden

Audi A1 to be fitted with three-cylinder petrol engine, with an A3 version to follow

Audi will launch a three-cylinder version of the A1 and the A3 could follow suit, according to Audi CEO, Rupert Stadler.

Speaking to Auto Express at the Beijing Motor Show, Stadler said: “In the A1 and the A3, the three-cylinder will be a standard engine in the future, for sure. It gives a good feeling and plenty of torque.” When asked if the A1 would be the first Audi to get the tech, Stadler replied: “Yes, for sure.”

But it may be some time before we see Audi’s larger models getting three-cylinder engines. “I think for a while, we will stay with the entry-level products [A1 and A3] – I’m not quite sure if the market in the mid to long run responds to three-cylinder tech. But just look at it 10-15 years ago when six-cylinder was a must and now four-cylinder has taken over.”

The Volkswagen Group already has three-cylinder engines as part of its range, including a 1.0-litre TSI petrol currently used in the Polo along with a 1.4 TDI. They currently produce a maximum of 89bhp but expect tweaks for more power in the A1.

Stadler also confirmed Audi’s commitment to plug-in hybrid technology, claiming an Audi A6 plug-in would launch in China later this year, with other markets due to follow suit. A plug-in Q7 will also form part of the next-gen model line-up, and there will be plug-in A7s and A8s in future, too.

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The article does not explain why a 3 pot would be any better,

Lighter, lower frictional losses, 120 degree phase, torque and more efficient.

In a 'less premium' car - maybe - but on a good day the 3 cylinder engine in my car sounds like half a 911 - on a bad day it sounds like gravel falling down an escalator. I wouldn't want one if I was spending Audi money.

BMW's 3-cylinder 1.5 litre is very, very good. Smooth, quiet, economical and can deliver up to 220hp.

Well I have a VAG 3 cylinder. It is not smooth let me tell you. Economical yes. But in no way smooth! So unless Audi are going to borrow BMW engines...

If I was spending Audi money, I wouldn't want an Audi.

My Audi A2 has a three cylinder engine and its over 10 years old - its not really new Audi tech is it?

Why then not use 2 or 1 cylinder for even more of the same?

I agree. At the end of the day they are just tarted up VW's while being just as dull and common.