Audi has determined that the thing most missing from its popular lineup is a longer, more complicated string of alphanumeric model designations.
Beginning with the launch of the new A8 this year, the premium brand will add a two-digit subdesignation to 2018 models to delineate their respective power outputs, regardless of the makeup of their powertrains.
Audi said Wednesday the naming system for the S and RS models, as well as the R8 high-performance coupe, won't change, however.
Here's how Audi explained the new designations in a statement Wednesday:
"The reference value for the new model designations is the power output of the individual model in kilowatts (kW). Audi is thus subclassifying its model range into different performance levels -- each identified by a two-numeral combination. For example, the numeral combination "30" will appear on the rear of all models with power output between 81 and 96 kW. And "45" stands for power output between 169 and 185 kW. The top of the Audi model range is the performance class above 400 kW, which is identifiable by the number combination "70". In each case the numerals appear along with the engine technology -- TFSI, TDI, g-tron or e-tron."
So, 30, 45 and 70, right?
"The number combinations identifying the performance levels in the Audi product range increase in increments of five, and they represent the hierarchy within both the respective model series and the brand's overall model range. According to the new nomenclature, in the future the spectrum will range from the Audi Q2 30 TFSI with 85 kW to the Audi Q7 50 TDI with 200 kW."
So why would Audi further complicate its naming nomenclature? For "clarity," says Dietmar Voggenreiter, the board of management member for sales and marketing for Audi.
"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," Voggenreiter said in the statement.
Audi says all of the new subdesignations will be added by summer 2018.