Why Audi’s new naming system won’t be coming to America anytime soon

Audi
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
Audi introduced a brand-new naming system earlier this year that uses two-digit numbers to denote the amount of power under the driver’s right foot — regardless of whether the car consumes gasoline, diesel, electricity, natural gas, or hydrogen to move forward. Digital Trends can now confirm that the company’s American division will not adopt the new nomenclature.

Speaking at the launch of the brand-new A7 in Germany, a spokesperson for Audi of America explained the naming system (the A7 55 TFSI  is an example) makes a lot of sense in Europe, where the four-ring brand offers a wider portfolio of models that stretches all the way down into Mini territory. It also boasts a much larger palette of engines on the Old Continent than it does here.

For example, the 2.0-liter TDI engine is available with 122, 150, or 190 horsepower. The 2.0-liter TFSI ranges from 190 to 252 hp when it burns gasoline, and it’s rated at 170 hp when it runs on natural gas. That’s why a mere “2.0” emblem on the trunk lid is no longer sufficient to set the various models apart. Audi runs into the same issue with many of its smaller engines.

Its North American lineup is much more streamlined, so it’s considerably easier to differentiate the various models. The A6’s base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 252 hp. Buyers who want more power are directed to a supercharged, 340-hp V6, not to a more powerful evolution of the turbo four. The standard A4 gets a 252-hp turbo four, the A4 ultra receives a 190-hp turbo four, and the S4 offers 354-hp from a 3.0-liter V6. It’s all a lot more straightforward than in Europe.

The company no longer sells diesels on our shores, and its CNG-powered, g-tron-badged models have never made the trip across the pond, so there’s no need to factor either into the equation. Audi won’t use the new naming system on its upcoming electric cars, either, although the company has confirmed the models will be offered with different power levels and battery pack sizes.

Hydrogen-powered models are a different story. Audi is in the early stages of developing a car powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, and selling it in the American market isn’t entirely out of the question. It’s still several years away from arriving in showrooms, so Audi of America has plenty of time to figure out whether to integrate fuel cells into its existing naming system, or whether to start from scratch.

Cars

Mercedes-Benz gives the tech-savvy 2020 CLA more power at New York Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation CLA during CES 2019, and it will expand the lineup when it unveils a midrange model named CLA 35 at the upcoming 2019 New York Auto Show.
Cars

Electric car buying guide: What you need to know before you buy

EVs are better than they've ever been, but buying your first battery-powered car can be an intimidating experience. Digital Trends has compiled a comprehensive guide that walks you through the process of buying an EV.
Cars

With drift mode, Kia’s Stinger GTS lets you unleash your inner hooligan

Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the limited-edition Kia Stinger GTS gets a trick all-wheel drive system that should enable plenty of sideways action. But only 800 buyers will get to try it.
Cars

Drywall or kayaks? The 2020 Toyota Highlander is ready for your weekend plans

Toyota introduced the 2020 Highlander ahead of its public debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The fourth-generation Highlander is bigger than its predecessor, and it comes with more tech features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Buying Guides

The best hatchbacks for 2019 are small in size and big on tech

The hatchback segment isn't huge, but there are still plenty of good options to choose from. Here, we've rounded up the best hatchbacks available in America, whether you're a fan of efficiency or looks.
Apple

WWDC 2019 Complete Coverage

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is a key tech event each year, and for Apple fans, it will be one of the two best times of 2019 (along with "new iPhone day," of course). For the last few years, Apple has debuted much of its…
Cars

Tesla Model S and Model X charge faster and go farther with the same battery

An all-new drivetrain for the Tesla Model S and X enables the EVs to travel farther per charge than the previous design. Tesla Model S Long Range sedans have a 370-mile range and Model X Long Range SUVs can travel 325 miles per EPA cycle.
Cars

GPS units aren't dead! Our favorite models still do things your phone can't

Love hitting the open road but hate having to rely solely on your phone for getting around? Thankfully, the best in-car GPS systems will allow you to navigate and capitalize on a range of features sans your cellular network. Here are our…
Cars

2019 Ford F-150 RTR gets a light dose of off-road, style upgrades

Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR Vehicles is turning its attention to the 2019 Ford F-150 pickup truck. RTR gave Ford's bestseller new suspension components and tires, as well as more extroverted exterior styling.
Cars

Electric truck maker Rivian scores $500 million investment from Ford

Alongside Amazon, Rivian can now count Ford as one of its backers. The Blue Oval will invest $500 million in Rivian, and will use the company's "skateboard" chassis as the basis for a future electric vehicle.
Cars

The best diagnostic adapters monitor your car so you don't have to

Sometimes called dongles, the best car adapters will tell you what's wrong under the hood while help you keep tabs on your family and routine maintenance.
Cars

Volkswagen prepares its electric ID R race car for its toughest challenge yet

The Volkswagen ID R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring to set a lap record. With Romain Dumas at the wheel, the ID R will try to become the fastest electric car around the grueling, 12.9-mile long track.
Emerging Tech

Japanese taxis will use facial recognition to target you with ads as you ride

A Japanese startup is trying to reinvent in-taxi advertising by using facial recognition technology to identify the key characteristics of riders and then presenting them with appropriate ads.
Cars

Nvidia agrees with Tesla’s take on self-driving cars, but corrects specifics

Nvidia vice president Rob Csongor agreed with broad statements by Elon Musk at Tesla's April 22 Autonomy Investor Day. Csongor then took exception to what he termed were inaccuracies about Nvidia's self-driving car chip.