Home » Here’s How Audi Is Renaming Its Lineup To Make Identifying EVs Easier

Here’s How Audi Is Renaming Its Lineup To Make Identifying EVs Easier

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Oh, so you thought Audi was killing all its gas cars? Well, you’re still probably right, because it is. The brand plans on icing out its ICE models when the proposed European ban goes into effect in 2035. Still, that doesn’t mean they’re going away right this instant. In fact, Audi’s rejiggering its lineup in a way that’ll make it way easier to tell at first glance which car’s an ICE, and which is an EV.

Like, I said, don’t get it twisted: Audi wants to become an EV-focused brand, so it’s going to release an onslaught of EV models within the next few years. But, it’s dropping the weirdo Transformers-like “e-tron” moniker. Instead, EV models will be even-numbered, and ICE models will be odd-numbered. Simple. Audi’s CEO confirmed as much to the German outlet AutoBild recently

So, yes, soon the Audi A4 will be electric and may be called “E4” instead. For those in search of an ICE version of that vehicle, Audi will now offer an A5 sedan. Same with the current ICE-powered Audi A6, which will become the A7 sedan, while the A6 model line will shift to an all-electric platform and likely be called E6. Similarly, the SUV-shaped Audis, the Q3, Q5, Q7, and possibly forthcoming Q9, will all be ICE-based, while the even-numbered Q products will be electric.

(Oddly enough, Car and Driver also says the Audi A3 could become the E3, throwing this whole naming scheme out of whack. So who knows what’s going on at this point.)

Vidframe Min Top
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Audi Rs 6 Avant
Pictured: Some Audi waiting for its new name to arrive

Interestingly enough, it seems that Audi is also simplifying the number of platforms it uses. All ICE-based Audi vehicles will ride on the same platform, called PPC, or Premium Platform Combustion. PPC can also support hybrids, so expect the sporty ICE Audi RS models to be electrified. Currently, Audi products use two platforms for its ICE vehicles; MQB Evo (A3, Q3) which is shared with cars like the Volkswagen Golf. Or, they use the MLB Evo platform, which is reserved for high-dollar premium products, like the Porsche Cayenne or Bentley Bentayga. Now, they’ll use just one common platform.

Unfortunately, the reports say that all sports cars will soon be dead. The Audi TT, a car I only recently learned was still on sale, will die soon, and so will the R8; the last part is tragic but we’ve known that for a while. This is all going to happen really, really, fast, too. Audi wants to introduce more than 10 new EV models between 2024 and the end of 2025, doubling the number it has on sale. Woof.

Static Photo, Colour: Geyser Blue, Metallic
Photo credit: Audi

Audi’s precedent to rename its model lineup isn’t unique in the industry. For better or worse, automakers are replacing old model names with new electrified ones. Mercedes introduced its EQ-series lineup, although it looks like the brand is backtracking (and similarly canceling sports cars in the near future). And as we reported today, BMW is also undertaking a similar effort

Will it work? I don’t know. Is it wise? Also, not sure; a model name like “A4” has plenty of history and equity, and applying that to an electric car could be a smart way to convert long-time A4 buyers into the electric fold.

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Or, it could blow up in Audi’s face, and just cause folks to buy new A5 sedans instead. We won’t know until we get there, folks.

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TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
11 months ago

What happens to the current A7 when the A6 becomes the A7? Does it become the A9? If so does the A8 become the A11? If so they need to get Spinal Tap to do an ad.

Tom Gabriele
Tom Gabriele
11 months ago

I would also like to register my confusion here. Why do different powertrains need different numbers? Seems like they’d be better off just keeping the same number=size scheme, then have the A-series be gas and E-series be electric if they want. Shopping for a midsize sedan? Choose A4 or E4. That seems way more intuitive than cross shopping (i.e up-selling) an A5 to an E4.

I also like the idea of calling all the sedans an A4 and you just choose our suffix; A4, A4t, A4e, etc.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
11 months ago

I already don’t get Audi. If you look at a Q7, there is a “45” and a “55”? What the hell is that telling you?

It looks like the real difference is one is the 2.0T 4-cylinder and the other is the 3.0T V6.

So what is wrong with calling it the Q7 2.0T and Q7 3.0T? Why 45 and 55?

J Kluzi
J Kluzi
11 months ago

Might want to double check on your assertion that all new ICE Audis will be on PPC. The current Q3 (which is NOT on MQB evo, it’s on an earlier version of MQB) is due for replacement next year, and will almost certainly ride on MQB evo (just like the latest A3), not PPC. I believe PPC is for longitudinal applications (i.e. a replacement for MLB evo), but the ICE A3 and Q3 will remain transverse.

Trecoolx
Trecoolx
11 months ago

German car marketers need to learn about a little thing called Occam’s Razor.

AKA Rukh
AKA Rukh
11 months ago
Reply to  Trecoolx

entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem is basically Latin for Keep It Simple for Success (, Stupid)

I understand the sentiment of not messing with things as they are, but I think this is just a byproduct of a tumultuous time in the auto industry. If you think about everything that’s changing to a new paradigm, it’s no wonder that there’s tremendous upheaval in the way vehicles are being marketed. Things will settle back out eventually, and there will be a new normal both like and unlike the old one, we just have to figure it out still.

Zach
Zach
11 months ago

I miss the good old days, where buying an electrified car was like ordering Starbucks. Give me a good ol’ BMW X5 Xdrive45e or a Q5 55 TFSI e Quattro Plug-in Hybrid or an XC60 Recharge T8 Ultimate Bright Theme eAWD.

No gibberish, no soul!

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
11 months ago

QE2?

Usernametaken
Usernametaken
11 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

I wouldn’t name an Audi after a poorly maintained highway containing mostly pick-up trucks, but most people who drive it probably don’t know what it’s called.

Also, it might as well not exist, because you know, no one give a shit about the place it’s in

Joshua Christian
Joshua Christian
11 months ago
Reply to  Usernametaken

Unless I’m missing a region-specific joke here, isn’t @Dogisbadob referring to the old Ocean Liner?

AKA Rukh
AKA Rukh
11 months ago

I thought about the boat too, but apparently there’s a Canadian highway called the QE2, as well. I expected Australia (Queensland Expressway 2 or some such), TBH.

Patrick
Patrick
11 months ago

Audi axing all sports cars just as they enter Formula 1 ? That doesn’t add up. Something else is brewing for sure on the sports car front. (At least I sure hope so!)

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
11 months ago

So who stays and who goes? There haven’t been any spy shots of an A4 sedan replacement. It seems like the A4 will become the A5 estate or Sportback and lose the sedan body style, and I’m assume the same will happen to the A6?

Trend Crimson
Trend Crimson
11 months ago

I for one welcome our forthcoming Porsche-Rimac powertrained RSe6. We can dream right?

Iain Tunmore
Iain Tunmore
11 months ago

Manufacturers are tying themselves in knots creating EV sub brands or nomenclature. Eventually all their cars will be EV, so what will happen to sub brands then, will they become the main brands? What of their traditional models they’ve spent decades building and refining the image of? Will the VW Golf die out and be replaced with VW ID2?
For 30 years Audis saloons have been A followed by an even number, rising in value size does. That’s all getting thrown in the bin, for a confusing amalgam of Es and As, odds and evens?

Just stop. Mark out the EV model (if necessary at all) by suffixing the model name with E.
Golf E
A4 E
A6 E
A8 E
Etc. it’s really not complicated.

Citrus
Citrus
11 months ago
Reply to  Iain Tunmore

I feel like the sub-brand business is just hedging bets and not considering bans to be really credible. If you really believed you were going all EV, you would just be transferring names over instead of trying to create a new brand (which is easily axed.)

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