Volkswagen’s luxury brand, Audi, is changing model designations and nomenclature to indicate power output in kilowatts (kW). Model names won’t change, but designations denoting the vehicle’s engine or powertrain choice will. The designations will be universal for both standard combustion engines, hybrids, and electrics.

A two-number combination will be used for this power output designation. These combinations increase in increments of 5 and each stands for a range of power output. For example, models producing between 81 and 96 kW will have a “30” sub-model designation (usually appearing on the rear hatch or deck lid). A “45” designates 169-185 kW, or “70” for 400 kW or more. Powertrain technology will also be included as before (TFSI, TDI, g-tron, e-tron). The exception to power output names will be for “halo” vehicles in the model range, such as high-performance S and RS models, which will retain their classic names.

“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.” —Dr. Dietmar Voggenreiter, Board of Management Member for Sales and Marketing at Audi AG

The changes begin with Audi’s 2018 model year line, starting with the A8, which is expected to enter the market this fall.

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An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at

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2 thoughts on “Audi Changing Model Designations To Include kW Outputs”

  1. Future Audi will see two numbers that designate power output in kilowatts. This goes for cars with internal combustion engines, hybrids, and fully electric models in the lineup. For vehicles making between 81 and 96 kilowatts (108-128 horsepower), Audi will use the number 30.

  2. Audi is deciding to make things even more complicated, for reasons we can’t fully understand. Two numbers will now be added to the back of every Audi vehicle alongside the current model designation and engine type. The numbers will depend on power output, and will range from 30 to 70.

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