Audi Adds Two-Digit Designation To Help Distinguish Models by Power Output

Why fix something that isn't broken?

Some automakers like to put flair and passion into their model names — Alfa Romeo has “Giulia” and Ferraris of old had sexy monikers like “Testarossa“. However, modern day cars, particularly German ones, are all distinguished by a series of numbers and letters that even your biggest auto aficionados have a hard time deciphering. This is a trend that Mercedes Benz and BMW have followed for years, but Audi has been a bit better by simply differentiating lines of vehicles a logical alphabetical and numerical system; for example, A4 is the typical consumer version of the 4-Line, Q7 indicates an SUV that slots above the Q5, etc. 

But that was just too easy.

Now, Audi has decided to introduce a two-digit designation for its models to signify unique engine outputs. And while that sounds simple and good, the system they use to assign these two digits is utterly confusing. For example, vehicles with between 108 horsepower and 128 horsepower are marked with a number “30”. Cars with between 226 horsepower and 248 horsepower are denoted with a “45” — anything higher than that gets a “70”. There are even more designations in between, but these are just some examples.

Audi claims this to be an easier way to tell how much power a model has by looking at it, but it really doesn’t seem any better. Additionally, the numbers don’t seem to correspond with the car’s power output, almost as if they are randomly assigned. 

“As alternative drive technologies become increasingly relevant, engine displacement as a performance attribute is becoming less important to our customers. The clarity and logic of structuring the designations according to power output makes it possible to distinguish between the various performance levels,” says Dr. Dietmar Voggenreiter, Board of Management Member for Sales and Marketing at Audi AG.

Regardless of how, or why, the marque decided to institute this, the new system will be introduced with the all-new A8 coming out this fall.