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

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.


Hooked on gas? Porsche is about to give you a good reason to go electric

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.

Space tourism is coming, and it’s going to wreak havoc on Earth’s atmosphere

NASA has announced it will be allowing tourists to visit the International Space Station. But experts who spoke to Digital Trends warn that space tourism could hurt the environment by damaging our planet's fragile ozone layer.

The five key things we learned during the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette’s unveiling

Digital Trends attended the mid-engined, 2020 Chevrolet Corvette's unveiling in Los Angeles. Here are five important points that stood out to us after seeing the car in person, and chatting with the people who developed it.

Cadillac’s new 2020 CT5 sedan lets you Super Cruise across America

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 proves the General Motors-owned luxury brand still cares about sedans. Introduced at the 2019 New York Auto Show, it's optionally available with Cadillac's Super Cruise technology and a lineup of turbocharged engines.

How Lexus, one of the industry’s hybrid champions, is preparing for the 2020s

Lexus predicts significant shifts will reshape the automotive industry during the 2020s. The hybrid champion is preparing to branch out into electric cars, it's investing in autonomous technology, and it wants to keep focusing on SUVs.

Toyota’s futuristic golf cart will transport people around at the 2020 Olympics

Toyota is reinventing the golf cart for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The company designed a vehicle named the Accessible People Mover that will transport visitors, athletes, and staff members from venue to venue.

The evolution of NASA’s moon buggy is even wilder than where it landed

In 1971, NASA launched the first car to go to the moon. They also sent astronauts to drive it. The further you dig into their design, the more amazing the rovers, which still reside on the moon, become.

Younger motorists may be banned from night driving in U.K. safety push

The U.K. is considering banning newly qualified motorists from driving at night in a bid to boost safety on its roads. Other measures could include banning passengers under a certain age from traveling with young drivers.

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette arrives with supercar specs and a bargain price tag

Chevrolet completely reinvented the Corvette Stingray for the 2020 model year. While the first seven generations of the car came with a front-mounted engine, the eighth-generation model switches to a mid-engined layout.

Built-in coolers, tents, and kitchenettes make these the best cars for camping

For a successful camping trip, you’ll need a tent, s’mores, and some quality humans to share them with. A good car can transform the entire experience, though, so we’re counting down 15 of the best cars for camping.

Cadillac drivers can now find and pay for parking from their dashboards

Cadillac hopes to make parking easier with a new embedded feature that allows drivers to find, reserve, and pay for parking spaces from their dashboard. It's the latest new feature of General Motors Marketplace.

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Wearable chargers and A.I.-enhanced keyboards

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Polaris builds Lunar Rover Vehicle replica with Indian, Slingshot, and RZR parts

Polaris Industries employees worked with a NASA astronaut and members of the original Apollo 11 Lunar Rover Vehicle (LRV) team to build a replica of the vehicle that landed on the moon. Most of the parts came from current Polaris vehicles.

2020 Lincoln Aviator adaptive suspension scans the road for potholes

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator's adaptive suspension system uses an array of sensors to detect potholes and other road imperfections, then preemptively adjusts settings to maintain a smooth ride.