Audi has hinted that it will steal the title of world’s most powerful four-cylinder production engine from Mercedes-Benz with the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine powering the Audi TT quattro sport concept.

Strongly hinting at a successor to the 2.5-litre turbo five-cylinder-powered Audi TT RS, the Audi TT quattro sport concept delivers 309kW of power (at 6700rpm) and 450Nm of torque (between 2400-6300rpm.

While the torque output matches the same-capacity engine in the production Mercedes-Benz A45, CLA45 and GLA45 AMG models, the power figure is 44kW ahead.

Audi TT quattro sport concept

The Audi 2.0-litre produces 155kW per litre of swept capacity, a world benchmark … if the engine goes into production. A full 300Nm is also available from 1900rpm, and the engine revs to 7200rpm.

The show car weighs 1344kg and sends drive to all four wheels and 20-inch rubber via a dual-clutch S tronic automatic transmission to claim a 3.7 second 0-100km/h.

Audi is being bullish about the production capabilities of the VW Group EA888 four-cylinder engine design used in everything from the Volkswagen Golf to this Audi TT quattro sport concept.

Audi TT quattro sport concept

“This high-performance power unit is an impressive demonstration of the power reserves available in our EA888 engine range,” said Audi head of powetrain development Dr. Stefan Knirsch.

“In the TT sport quattro sport concept, it demonstrates its full power potential.”

Compared with the 2.0-litre EA888 turbo engine used in regular Volkswagen Golf and Audi TT grades, the TT sport quattro concept engine features special aluminium pistons with integrated cooling channels and an ultra-high-strength forged steel camshaft. The cylinder crankcase is made out of high-strength cast alloy, and the exhaust-gas turbocharged produces up to 1.8 bar of pressure. Yet the engine itself weighs just 150kg.

Audi TT quattro sport concept

Weight distribution in the driveable concept car stands at 54 per cent front, and 46 per cent rear, while the electronic stability control can be partially or fully disabled, and torque vectoring between each of the four drive wheels is standard.

The Audi TT sport quattro concept’s body lowers the centre of gravity compared with the just-released third generation TT, while the wheelarches extend 30mm wider than the production new Audi TT. Carbonfibre is used on the sill trims and rear diffuser, the latter of which surrounds the two large exhaust pipes that are positioned further outward than the production model.

The race-focused show car is stripped of armrests and speakers and cloaked in Alcantara, while low-set racing buckets get a black-with-white-stripes four-point seatbelt harness, and the steering wheel houses a red engine start button.

Audi TT quattro sport concept

It is clear the new generation Audi TT RS may have the BMW M4 in its sights, with Audi board member for technical development Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg making the new generation TT’s capabilities and aspirations clear.

“With our Audi TT quattro sport concept show car, we wanted to demonstrate what the new TT’s technology can do if you take it a step further,” he told.