Audi Abandons Confusing Naming Strategy After Years of Criticism

Bye Bye 55 TFSI and 40 TDI – No More Fans Here!

Audi left us all scratching our heads in 2017 with the introduction of a new naming system for its entire lineup. This system uses double-digit numbers to indicate the power output of each vehicle, ranging from “30” for models with 109-128 horsepower to “70” for those with at least 536 hp. These numbers are displayed alongside the familiar badges such as TFSI, TDI, and Quattro. However, after just seven years, the company has now made the decision to abandon these confusing designations.

A notable shift is being made by Audi this week with the unveiling of the Q6 E-Tron, though the transition could be argued to have begun with the Q8 E-Tron in technical terms. Interestingly, the numbers do not appear on the rear of the larger electric SUV either. Despite this, Audi has maintained their perplexing naming format in official documents for the Q8 E-Tron. According to Florian Hauser, Head of Sales & Product Marketing for Battery Electric Vehicles at Audi, numbers are no longer necessary.

Audi is seeking to streamline their model options with a focus on their upcoming electric crossover. The standard Q6, equipped with all-wheel drive, will now be known as the Q6 E-Tron Quattro. Meanwhile, the high-performance version will be called the SQ6 E-Tron. In the future, a rear-wheel-drive option will also be available under the name Q6 E-Tron. However, in order to avoid confusion with multiple battery size choices, Audi may need to add a suffix like “Performance” to differentiate between the different variants.

The simplified naming system embraced by electric vehicles is not exclusive to them, as traditional gasoline and diesel cars are also likely to adopt it. But there’s a catch. In an interview with a British publication, Audi revealed their plans to remove the two-digit combination from their combustion engine cars’ trunk lids and tailgates. However, the German automaker has yet to confirm if they will completely discard the previous nomenclature from their configurators, marketing materials, and other platforms.

There are upcoming modifications to the names of certain models. Approximately a year ago, Markus Duesmann, the former CEO of Audi, confirmed that the A4 will be renamed as the A5 for its next generation, similarly to the transition from A6 to A7 for its respective model. As a result, expect to see an A5/S5/RS5 Avant and an A7/S7/RS7 Avant, even though these new monikers may sound unfamiliar. It is uncertain if there will be a replacement for the current A4 sedan, as all recent spy photos have only captured the five-door Sportback version. This would be a peculiar decision from Audi, as it would no longer offer competition for the BMW 3 Series Sedan and Mercedes C-Class Sedan.

Upgrading the gas/diesel A4 and A6 is included in the organization’s strategy to utilize odd digits for cars equipped with traditional engines and even digits for electric vehicles. The rebranding of these two lineups will open up space in the product range for battery-operated versions of the A4 and A6.

In other locations, Audi plans to discontinue the A1 supermini and Q2 subcompact crossover once the current iterations have run their course. The TT was ceased in November of 2023, while production of the R8 will come to a close this month.

Recently, Audi has been working on a large Q9 SUV that will feature a roomy third row, serving as a delayed response to the popular Mercedes GLS and BMW X7. However, the Q9 is expected to be one of the final models with a traditional internal combustion engine, as Audi has announced their intention to exclusively produce electric vehicles starting in 2026. In fact, they have set a goal to completely discontinue the production of gas-powered cars by 2033, making them a fully electric brand.

Source: Auto Express

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