Published on January 12th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Audi 3.0 Biturbo in Production


Back when Audi launched the 3.0 TFSI in the B8 S4, the move was a noted departure. The new engine used a supercharger, a first for the four rings since the 1930s Auto Union racers and a package made for a cost-effective and torque-rich mill that has served Audi well in every model it produces north of the Audi A4.

Up until the 3.0 TFSI (TFSI standing for any forced induction according to Audi marketers), Ingolstadt had made its forced induction way through the use of turbos – single unit configurations in the 80s and 90s, then biturbo configurations beginning in the era of the B5 S4′s 2.7T and on through today’s most robust 4.0 TFSI offering.

At the time of launch of the B8 S4, Audi engineers revealed that a turbocharger-based setup had been evaluated for the 3.0 TFSI during its gestation but the decision was made to go with the Supercharger for many reasons including torque delivery, efficiency and cost. In effect, the supercharger made more than enough for A-car and S-car applications, though it’s never been used by quattro GmbH for highest-performance RS-car fitment.

Fast forward to last year when the Porsche Panamera received its mid-lifecycle product improvement. New in the lineup was a 3.0-liter V6 twin turbo rated at 420 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. This was the first time a 3.0 biturbo had been seen from any current Volkswagen Group product and the only Audi engine the Panamera (and also the Cayenne) had used previously had been the 3.0 TFSI supercharged paired with a hybrid drivetrain. In the meantime, a de-tuned version (340 hp) of that same 3.0-liter biturbo has been confirmed as the S-spec engine for the new Macan crossover that shares much with the Audi Q5.

Interestingly, a source at Porsche has confirmed for us that the 3.0-liter biturbo is based on the same Audi 3.0-liter block as the supercharged 3.0 TFSI. Porsche used that four-ring stamped block as its basis and then built up from there. Porsche used its own heads, rods, pistons, crank and turbos, and assembles it all in Zuffenhausen.

So, could or would Audi use this 3.0-liter biturbo in the future? Possibly. Our best guess is that a version of the engine will see duty in RS-badged products, but quattro GmbH has shown a clear pattern of developing its own tuning as one can readily witness in the various states of tune for the 4.0 TFSI found in the RS 6, RS 7, S7, S6 and S8. Even still, the Porsche 3.0-liter biturbo is a great indicator as to what the Audi 3.0-liter V6 is good for when paired with turbocharging, and that 420-hp Panamera tune is right in line with the 4.2-liter high-rev V8 used in the RS 4 and RS 5. That the B9 RS-cars could jump to a 3.0 biturbo of some sort seems likely and they’d drop weight out of the nose in the process.

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