Usually it is very easy to say how big the engine is in the car just by looking at the numbers on its body. Audi‘s have it written on the back and it is very clear and easy to understand. However, not the German luxury car manufacturer decided to confuse everyone by introducing a completely new designation system. Why? How will it work?
Now it is very easy. 2 litre engine Audi will have 2.0 TFSI or TDI written on the back. That tells you immediately how big the engine is and there are no additional questions. In fact, you don’t even have to know your car that well – these two numbers are universally understood by everyone in repair shops and car parts stores. So why change it?
Audi decided that engine displacement does not tell the full story of the car. In fact, it makes very little difference nowadays and power is more important. And so, the new numbers are going to reflect the power output and not the engine capacity. But it is not as easy as you may think. If a car produces 81 kW it is not going to say “81” on the back – instead, there will be a number 30. 30 is going to represent power outputs of 81-96 kW, 45 badge will be glued on all cars making 169- 185 kW of power and so on. The most powerful Audi vehicles are going to have a number 70, indicating that the powertrain is pushing more than 400 kW. This change is coming because of alternative powertrains gaining a bigger share of the market.
Electric vehicles don’t have engine displacement figures, so how people should identify their power just by looking at them? And how relevant engine capacity is when we’re talking about hybrid vehicles? These are all questions that pushed Audi to make this decision. Dr. Dietmar Voggenreiter, Board of Management Member for Sales and Marketing at Audi, said: “As alternative drive technologies become increasingly relevant, engine displacement as a performance attribute is becoming less important to our customers. The clarity and logic of structuring the designations according to power output makes it possible to distinguish between the various performance levels”.
So the goal is to have a unified system. However, S and RS variants are going to retain the traditional designation system. This is all very complicated and weird, but Audi is going to stick with its decision, so drivers are going to have to adapt and look at powertrains a little bit differently.
The first car to kick off the new system is going to be the new A8. Large executive saloon with 3 litre V6 engine is not going to be marked 3.0 TDI. Instead, we will see it called Audi A8 50 TDI if the engine is diesel and A8 55 TFSI if petrol. Looks unnecessarily confusing, but maybe Audi is seeing something we don’t.
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