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Audi To Differentiate EV and ICE Models With New Naming Strategy

Alphanumerical naming systems often leave us very confused, and Audi's extensive lineup is no exception. The rise of EVs definitely doesn't help matters, and to help balance out its battery- and gas-powered offerings, the luxury brand must go beyond simply slapping on the e-tron moniker. After a few swirling rumors concerning a revised naming scheme, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann has confirmed to Auto Bild that the company is doing just that.

The changes will go into effect around 2024 with the arrival of the next-generation A4 and A6, only they won't exist as we know them today. Audi will hand over its even-numbered names to electric models, while gas-powered models will all switch to odd numbers. This means that the A4 and A6 will become the A5 and A7, and the original nameplates will belong to their electric counterparts. If your brain hasn't already exploded, remember that the A5 and A7 names already belong to existing models. Duesmann refused to specify on the future of the current A5 and A7, but since they are offered solely as two- or four-door coupes, we expect that the new sedan and Avant wagon body styles will peacefully coexist with the more coupe-like form factors, which will likely carry the Sportback moniker. However, with the declining popularity of coupes, there's also a chance that Audi could drop the body style altogether. Oh, and did we forget about the more performance-oriented versions? Audi's boss added that we should "look forward to many emotional and high-performance derivatives." As if the naming system couldn't get more confusing, this means that we'll continue to see both electric and ICE models wearing the S and RS badges.

The next burning question is whether or not the e-tron name will remain in use for future Audi EVs, especially after Mercedes's recent decision to slowly phase out its EQ badge. But just like how BMW plans to stick with the "i" prefix, the company told Auto Bild that the e-tron nameplate is here to stay, as it is considered a "well-established term" that "stands for 100% electric." Elsewhere in the Audi lineup, the A8 flagship sedan will not be making the switch to an odd-numbered name, since it will be offered solely with an electric powertrain. At the other side of the Audi spectrum, it has been confirmed that an entry-level electric crossover, similar in size to today's Q3, will arrive to slot below the Q4 e-tron. Within the next two years, Audi plans to reveal a whopping 20 new cars, which includes everything from facelifts to redesigns and renamings. Around half of these new cars will be electric, so just keep in mind that we'll be seeing a lot of even-numbered Audis in the near future.

What do you think of Audi's revised naming strategy?

Image Credits: Audi


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