Skip to main content

Goodbye turbo lag: Audi bringing electric turbos to production

Audi has all but confirmed the potent diesel-electric mild hybrid drivetrain found under the hood of the experimental RS5 TDI Concept – pictured above – has been given the green light for production.

“[The drivetrain] is basically ready for production,” confirmed Sven Beechie, the development manager of Audi’s V6 TDI mill, in an interview with Australian website CarAdvice. “There is a good chance to see it in the future.  Wait and see, next year is a nice year,” hinted the engineer.

The centerpiece of the RS5 TDI Concept’s drivetrain is a 3.0-liter diesel-burning V6 engine that uses an innovative electric turbocharger to virtually eliminate turbo lag and improve efficiency. Drawing power from a compact lithium-ion battery pack, the electric turbo provides instantaneous boost at low rpm while two large traditional exhaust-driven turbos kick in at higher engine speeds to provide more high-end grunt.

In the RS5 TDI, the drivetrain generates 385 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, allowing the coupe to reach 62 mph from a stop in just four seconds. To put those figures into perspective, the regular-production gasoline-burning RS5 is powered by a naturally-aspirated 4.2-liter V8 engine that produces 450 ponies and 317 pound-feet of twist. The coupe takes 4.5 seconds to accelerate to 62 mph.

Audi has not revealed what model will have the honor of inaugurating its upcoming electric turbocharger, but the next-generation Q7 and the upcoming second-generation R8 are two likely candidates. Further down the line, the bulk of Audi’s larger models are expected to feature electric turbocharging technology.

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
Audi GrandSphere concept shows how autonomy opens new design avenues
2021 Audi GrandSphere concept

Audi's follow-up to the shape-shifting SkySphere, the GrandSphere, takes the form of a luxurious sedan with a striking silhouette, electric power, and autonomous technology. It was designed as a concept car, and a highly futuristic one at that, but it's also a preview of the technology the firm will inject into its range in the coming years.

The Audi grandsphere concept: experience high-class future

Read more
Audi’s SkySphere electric roadster has shape-shifting superpowers
Audi SkySphere concept

It's practically a law of automotive design: Shorter cars handle better, and longer cars ride more comfortably. Most cars are forced to find a compromise somewhere between the extremes, but why should they have to?

Audi recently leveraged electrification technology to develop a new concept called SkySphere, which allows the length of the car to vary depending on the driving mode selected. It takes the form of a luxurious two-seater roadster powered by an electric drivetrain.

Read more
The Sonos-Audi partnership isn’t as exciting as we’d hoped
2022 Audi Q4 E-Tron

On March 9, Audi released a series of interior photos of its 2022 Q4 E-Tron, and observers were quick to take note of the fact that when you look very closely at the car's speaker grilles, you can see an unexpected company logo: Sonos. The partnership was confirmed later that day by Sonos CEO Patrick Spence during a call with investors. But the details of the integration of Sonos sound into Audi vehicles weren't discussed by either company, which led to all kinds of speculation.

Would Sonos bring its Trueplay tuning software into the mix? Would you be able to access the Sonos Radio and Sonos Radio HD streaming music services from the Q4 E-Tron's entertainment console? Would it be possible to use a Sonos Roam speaker to transfer a listening session from the car to the Roam, or vice versa?

Read more