Advanced Audi variable compact adopts new engine giving more power without sacrifices in economy or emissions
A new four-cylinder, 1.6-litre petrol engine, directly fuel injected by a new FSI injection system derived from the Audi Le Mans racing cars, provides the A2 1.6 FSI with 110bhp. It enables a 0-62mph time of 9.8 seconds and a top speed of 126mph, and it delivers this significant performance advantage over the A2 1.4 while at the same time bettering its fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures. The A2 1.6 FSI can cover up to 47.9 miles per gallon (combined cycle), and emits 142g/km of CO2 (A2 1.4: 75bhp/46.3mpg/144g/km), ensuring that it remains with its 1.4 counterparts in the lowest taxation bracket for business users (15 per cent).
This seemingly impossible, ‘best of both worlds’ combination of improved performance and increased efficiency will of course make itself felt from the outset in terms of both driving pleasure and running cost control. However, it will be in the longer term where the benefit of the new FSI technology will really show its worth.
The FSI engine is designed to run highly efficiently on 95 RON unleaded and 98 RON super unleaded fuels, but for ultimate ‘lean burn’ performance, sulphur-free or ultra-low sulphur fuels are recommended. These fuels will become more widely available in the UK from the end of this year, and will attract government duty incentives to encourage their production and use*, further increasing the cost-cutting potential for FSI-equipped cars.
The focal point of the FSI engine is a high pressure, common rail fuel injection system supplied by a single-piston injection pump. More commonly associated with diesel engines, the system delivers fuel straight to the cylinders, rather than into the intake manifold, as is the case with most petrol units.
Two mode operation
Thanks to this advanced technology the engine can operate in two ‘modes’ to minimise consumption. When a high power output is required, the electronics select the homogeneous mode, which is the normal operating state for conventional indirect injection engines. Even in this mode, the FSI engine holds an advantage over less advanced petrol units in that it leaves no fuel unburned – the mixture is completely vaporised in the combustion chamber for greater efficiency.
At normal cruising speeds, under part load, the engine switches to ‘stratified charge’ operation. In this state, the air, or ‘charge’, is directed extremely accurately towards the spark plug using the ‘tumble’ principle, created by a tumble flap within the intake manifold and a specially shaped bowl in the piston crown.
Fuel is injected only in the piston’s compression phase, rather than during induction as is the norm, and is placed in the tightly controlled stream of intake air moving towards the spark plug. The combustible mixture is therefore only present in a restricted area of the combustion chamber, surrounding the spark plug, and injection takes place at a very shallow angle, minimising the potential for losses.
The new A2 1.6 FSI heads up a recently revised A2 model line-up, which also includes four-cylinder 1.4-litre petrol models and three-cylinder 1.4-litre TDI diesels, both offering 75bhp and available in standard, SE and Sport trim levels.
Principal updates include a new 42-litre fuel tank (up from 34 litres), giving an increase in range between fuel stops of over 20 per cent, an upgraded audio speaker system for all models and a new Concert stereo with front-loading single CD player for SE versions.
It is now also possible to order an A2 SE without electronic climate control, as this feature becomes an option costing £800 across the board (previously £1,250). Realigned prices for the nine A2 models in the UK range now start from £13,145 on the road.
New Sport versions
Available allied to both petrol and TDI engines, the new A2 Sport models are lowered by sports suspension tuned by Audi bespoke vehicle subsidiary quattro GmbH, and ride on 17-inch, nine-spoke alloy wheels with 205/40 ZR 17 tyres.
Inside, they feature front sports seats with electric lumbar support, upholstered in Jacquard Satin fabric, plus a three-spoke, leather-rimmed steering wheel and leather trimming for the hand brake cover and gear lever gaiter. A Driver’s Information System (DIS), giving useful information on fuel consumption and potential driving range, is also part of the package.
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