Utterly Ridiculous New Audi Nomenclature Scheme Is Not Happening in the United States

2018 Audi A7 Sportback - Image: AudiSee that new Audi A3 with between 109 and 129 horsepower? That’s an Audi A3 30. And see the badge on the back of that Audi A4 2.0T? Right, it doesn’t say 2.0T. It says Audi A4 45.


Exactly. Huh. Many huhs. “Huh?” is being heard everywhere. In fact, even within Audi, “Huh?”, was an expression heard often enough that Audi of America won’t be adopting the new model designation format. That’s a relief.

Remember when you looked at the back of a German car and could instantly decipher its engine displacement?

2018 Audi A8 rear badging - Image: AudiAh, yes, the BMW 328i, a 3 Series with a 2.8-liter inline six. The Mercedes-Benz S500, an S-Class with a 5.0-liter V8. The Audi A4 2.0T, aforementioned, with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. It all made so much sense.

For the 2018 model year, the BMW 340i is equipped with a 3.0-liter turbocharged straight six. Same engine as the BMW 330i? Of course not: the 330i uses a 2.0-liter turbo. At Mercedes-Benz, the 2018 S450 has a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 under the hood. And if S63 has you thinking V12, don’t be so silly. That’s a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8.

Granted, it’s not just the Germans. Slathered across the trunklid of the 2018 Lexus LS is an LS500 badge, but the car features a 3.5-liter turbo V6. Even worse, the 2018 Lexus IS uses a different engine in the Lexus IS300 and the Lexus IS300 AWD.

Fortunately, Audi will refrain from utilizing the most confusing badging scheme of them all, Car And Driver reports, “at least for the time being.” Audi is certainly making enough headway in America without absolutely bewildering consumers. Sales have risen in 81 consecutive months, jumping 6 percent in the U.S. through the first nine months of 2017 even as industry-wide sales slip 2 percent.

[Images: Audi AG]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.