The truth (and the extra milage) is in the engineering of Audi’s new 2.0-liter engine

2015 Audi A4

As we all well know, beyond its renowned four-wheel drive systems and TDI engines, Audi is obsessed with efficiency. In this spirit, the German automaker has announced a new 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine that is a prime example if its Vorsprung durch Technik motto. That’s “advancement through technology,” in case your German was a little rusty.

This latest product of Audi’s famous slogan premiered at the Vienna Motor Symposium taking place today and tomorrow. What Audi says makes the new turbo four-cylinder exciting is markedly more fuel efficient than the current one, thanks to a new combustion system that Audi will be implementing for the first time.

Several small, specific feats of engineering allows the engine to fire in a similar way to the Miller cycle, which allows a higher energy output from each compression, albeit with a little loss of power.

New Audi 2.0-liter TFSI Four Cylinder engine

It’s that power trade-off that is a glaring oddity in the new power plant. The new engine has a 190 horsepower output and turns out 236 pound-feet of torque, but is said to be capable of 47 U.S. mpg efficiency. Currently, the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder in the A4 nets 220 hp and 258 lb-ft. while landing a 27 U.S. mpg return in combined fuel economy.

While the comparative drop in power looks a little ominous, Dr. Stefan Knirsch, Head of Engine Development at Audi, says that in practice, the engine is doing more than we realize: “Thanks to this rightsizing approach, the new engine enjoys the consumption benefits of a downsizing engine in partial load operation, while at higher loads it has the advantages of a large-displacement engine. The result is optimal efficiency and performance characteristics across the entire engine speed range.”

Audi’s new 2.0-liter will find a home first in the Euro-spec A4 later this year, with a plan to introduce it further into other models shortly thereafter. Will this engine end up in the U.S. version? It’s too soon to tell. We love us some horsepower here, though, and a downgrade in output is a tough sell … even if its for 20 more mpg. We’ll have a better understanding of what to expect later this year.