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Audi cool on three-cylinder engines

  • Audi concentrates on cylinder-on-demand tech
  • Cool on VW's three-cylinder engines
  • More models with fuel-saving tech due
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The three-cylinder engine in Volkswagen's award-winning VW Up is unlikely to make it into any models from sister brand Audi.

The engine is also fitted into the Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo, and VW recently announced that the next-generation Golf could have it, too.

Audi is not so keen, however. 'It has to make sense for Audi,' said a spokesman. 'It hasn't been ruled out, but it hasn't been ruled in. However, it has to fit in with Audi's DNA and we'd have to think about noise, vibration and harshness.'

Rather than dropping a cylinder completely, Audi has developed technology where half the cylinders automatically shut off when the engine is cruising a system called cylinder on demand.

This technology was introduced in the Audi S8, where four of the car's eight cylinders can be closed off to save fuel.

The Audi A1 Sportback has a four-cylinder engine that can shut down two cylinders. This version will go on sale in the summer. No date has yet been given for when it will join the three-door A-1 line-up, but it's expected to be part of the new A3's range when it is launched in the spring, and in the updated A4, due later this year.