Audi Announces Confusing New Naming Convention for its Models


Audi has announced a new, standardized nomenclature for its cars.

It’s always a bit jarring when automakers decide to change how their models are named, but sometimes it turns out for the better. Audi is hoping its latest move will make sense once it starts rolling out, since badges such as 2.0 TFSI will be replaced by something more obscure, like 30 TFSI. The names for the model series – A4, A5, A6, etc. – aren’t changing; it’s the power output designations that are getting overhauled.

According to the German automaker, the move is being done because “engine displacement as a performance attribute is becoming less important to our customers.” In addition, the current designations doesn’t work very well for the future electrified models so Audi will be using two-numeral combinations.

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The number combinations identifying the performance levels will increase in increments of five and each one represents a power output range. For example, “30” will appear on models with power output between 81 kW (110 horsepower) and 96 kW (129 hp). Engines producing between 227 and 248 hp will have a “45” badge, while slightly more powerful cars will have “50” and “55” badges. The top of the range will be identified by “70” and that represents models with over 400 kW (536 hp). For each model, the numbers will be followed by the engine technology: TFSI, TDI, g-tron or e-tron.

The changes will start with the new Audi A8 launching this fall with the Audi A8 50 TDI and Audi A8 55 TFSI.

You can view the move as being made due to the perception that larger numbers are better. Compared to competitor Mercedes-Benz, which uses a somewhat similar naming convention, an Audi 2.0 TFSI doesn’t sound as impressive as the CLA 45 for example, even though both cars are powered by 2.0-liter engines.

Discuss this story on our Audi Forum


iggination says:

Doesn’t sound that bad, but it does seem like a copycat move.

K03sport says:

an even better move would be to eliminate the engine and power output numbers/letters all together. instead, just have the model name, trim, such as S-line, and “quattro” for those sporting the awd system. that way, there is no pissing contest when it comes to engine size or output. just let the model/trim/driveline sell itself. In fact, on the rear trunk/hatch lid, if it was only model name and quattro, that would be even better…simple, elegant, clean = better

kaffekup says:

I kind of like knowing the trim level of the cars I see. For instance, I like Mazdas, but would appreciate knowing if I’m looking at an i, s or GT.
Infiniti and Cadillac lost me when they standardized on one letter.

haji says:

Why don’t they name every model 999? Obviously Audi A3 999 sounds more powerful than Merc C180, right?