Besides 5 valves per cylinder, the 1.8 liter turbo boasted a durable iron engine block with aluminum cylinder head. Inside the block, there are 100% forged internals, including crankshaft, connecting rods, and pistons. The incoming air to the turbocharger was fed through a single air-to-air intercooler.
The initial version of the engine for the 1995 model year made 150 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. In a 1997 test by MotorTrend, it propelled Audi’s A4 sedan from 0-60 mph in 8.0 seconds with a manual transmission, or 9.1 seconds for the automatic.
Over the years, the 1.8T continually evolved, peaking at a whopping 240 horsepower in Audi’s 2005-2006 TT quattro sport. The extra power was primarily due to a larger turbocharger that produced 15 psi boost, as opposed to the standard 10 psi. A second intercooler was also fitted to further cool the intake charge. In this guise, the 1.8T enabled the TT to hit 60 mph from a standing start in just 5.9 seconds.
Nowadays, the 1.8T is known as the “small block Chevy of Europe” to old-world hot rodders, due to its affordable price and widespread availability in VAG brands like SEAT and Skoda, which we don’t get in America.