Audis new fuel-saving 'cylinder on demand' technology which makes its debut on the new V8-engined S8 will also feature on the companys next generation of four-cylinder petrol engines.
An Audi insider told What Car? that the new A3 due in spring 2012 will probably be the first to get the new four-cylinder engines, which are capable of slashing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by around 10%.
The engines will also be used on future versions of the A1 and are likely to be added to the updated A4, after its launch in early 2012.
The system saves fuel by shutting down half of the engines cylinders when cruising. During acceleration, the engine works at full capacity, delivering maximum power and refinement.
We recently tested the new system in the new S8, and were impressed by how seamless the transition from eight- to four-cylinder mode was. Whether that remains the case in an engine with half as many cylinders remains to be seen.