Audi Is Adding Two Digits To Its Car Names Just To Make Sure You Stay Confused

Illustration for article titled Audi Is Adding Two Digits To Its Car Names Just To Make Sure You Stay Confused

I feel a little weird writing yet another Audi-and-numbers story in just one day, but sometimes fate has some funny ideas. Today Audi informed the world that it is changing its vehicle nomenclature system with the addition of a two-digit code that, as far as I can tell, will solve the problem of people not being confused enough about Audi model names.


Previously, Audi has mostly used a letter+number combos: A3, A4, S3, Q7, and so on. They also have TT, R8, and various ‘coupe’ and ‘sportback’ and ‘cabriolet’ descriptors as well. A for normal cars, S and RS for fast stuff, Q for crossovers, etc. It’s not amazing, but it generally works.

Here’s what they want to add:

Audi is adopting a standardized nomenclature for the power output designations of its worldwide range of automobiles. The names of the model series – from Audi A1 to Audi Q7 – will remain unchanged. Within the model families, combinations of two numbers will replace the various type designations previously used. The new designations stand for the specific power output and apply both to cars with combustion engines and to e-tronmodels with hybrid and electric drives.

Okay, so, the basic model names stay the same, but Audi wants to add two numbers to indicate power output, sort of? If that sounds okay to you so far, I’d like to invite you to read the description of how these two digits will be selected:

The reference value for the new model designations is the power output of the individual model in kilowatts (kW). Audi is thus subclassifying its model range into different performance levels – each identified by a two-numeral combination. For example, the numeral combination “30” will appear on the rear of all models with power output between 81 and 96 kW. And “45” stands for power output between 169 and 185 kW. The top of the Audi model range is the performance class above 400 kW, which is identifiable by the number combination “70”. In each case the numerals appear along with the engine technology – TFSI, TDI, g-tron or e-tron.

Okay, so, if the car has between 108 horsepower and 128 HP, it gets the number ‘30.’ And if the car has between 226 HP and 248 HP, it gets a ‘45.’ Anything above that gets ‘70.’

Easy, right? Just what you’d expect by seeing some numbers that have no real numerical relation to the power output.


Audi goes on, to finish off those of you whose eyelids have yet to drop shut, heavily:

The number combinations identifying the performance levels in the Audi product range increase in increments of five, and they represent the hierarchy within both the respective model series and the brand’s overall model range. According to the new nomenclature, in the future the spectrum will range from the Audi Q2 30 TFSI with 85 kW (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.4 - 5.1*; CO2 emissions in g/km: 123 - 117*) to the Audi Q7 50 TDI with 200 kW (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.4 - 5.9*; CO2 emissions in g/km: 168 - 154*). A special place in the line-up is occupied by the high-end, high-performance S and RS models and the Audi R8 (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.5 - 11.4; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 292 - 272). They will retain their classic names in reference to their top position in the model range.


I have no idea why in this paragraph Audi decided to throw in even more numbers for fuel economy and CO2 emissions, other than whoever writing this up is a real fucking mathematical sadist.

Who asked for this? Did a bunch of Audi owners write in and tell them that they loved their car, but they wish there was some way they could really obliquely suggest to other drivers a general range of power output the car had, without, you know, coming out and just sticking the actual hp number (sorry, kW) right on the back?


Is anyone going to look at an Audi with a badge that reads Q5 30 TSFI and take away any useful information? For most people, no, hell no.

I’m baffled why Audi thinks this is so important. If they really wanted to be honest and deliver what their customers were looking for, they’d have badging that looked like this:

Illustration for article titled Audi Is Adding Two Digits To Its Car Names Just To Make Sure You Stay Confused

More $, the better, of course. You know that’s all anyone is really looking at in a car badge, anyway.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!:


dat letter/number decal market doe. BMW knows all about that