The unusual engine design was the heart of the original Quattro that revolutionised performance motoring in the 1980s, as well as dominating the World Rally Championship.
Now the feisty five is coming back for a fast-car pacesetter called the TT RS.
It won't be spitting flames or roaring through an open exhaust like the engines used in the Quattro coupes which convinced the world that all-wheel drive was the best way to put big power on the ground, but Audi is promising more than 225kW to turn the go-faster TT into something special.
"It will be a sensation little rocketship," claims the spokesperson for Audi Australia, Anna Burgdorf.
The final figures will not be revealed until the TT RS makes its public debut in a fortnight at the Geneva Motor Show, but Audi is hinting at a four-second sprint to 100km/h and a potential top speed well beyond its electronically-limited 250km/h.
The TT RS will be built as both a coupe and convertible, with a bunch of body tweaking work to reflect the muscular potential of the 2.5- litre engine hooked to its quattro drive system.
The bad news is a price-tag beyond $100,000, based on today's TT S at $98,900.
But the good news is that car TT RS will definitely come to Australia.
It will be sold as a coupe only - the convertible is considered too limiting - and the timing is around six months after the first deliveries in Europe.
"The car will come to Australia. It will definitely come in 2010 but it's very hard to tie down a date at this stage," says Burgdorf.
She cannot comment on details, including the move away from inline fours and V6s to the new five, but says the TT RS is definitely not a show car or a limited-edition tease.
"It is a production car. What will be shown on the stand at Geneva is the production car," she says.
"We don't know the answer on production numbers, but it is a regular production model. And the engine is a new one that allows the TT to perform extremely well with good fuel economy."
The 2009 Melbourne International Motor Show...