Less than two weeks ago rumors emerged of Audi’s plans to update its nomenclature and now the Four Rings confirms a new naming strategy. Interview with a German magazine Auto Picture, CEO Markus Duesmann has announced that the next-generation A4 will be sold as the A5 while the future A6 will transition to the A7 moniker. This will allow the Ingolstadt-based brand to use odd numbers for combustion engine cars and even numbers for electric vehicles.
The head of the luxury brand went on to say that the A4 will return strictly as an electric vehicle, positioned below a future zero-emission A6. He declined to go into detail on what will happen with today’s A5 and A7 ranges, saying only that details on additional body variants will be released in the future. He mentioned that we should “look forward to many emotional and high-performance derivatives”, so expect S and RS variants in the years to come.
With the petrol/diesel A4 becoming the A5, it can only mean that Audi is working on the S5 Sedan/Avant and an RS5 Avant. However, it remains to be seen whether there are plans to sell an A5 Sedan together with an A5 Sportback. Spy photos have fueled rumors of the good old saloon’s demise. Only the A5 Avant has been spotted so far, and we’re months away from the world premiere.
Asked by Auto Picture if Audi sticks with the “E-Tron” suffix, Duesmann said it won’t be dropped. Archrival Mercedes sees things differently as a recent report indicates the three-pointed star plans to phase out the EQ brand with new electric vehicles from 2024. BMW will use “i” for the foreseeable future to distinguish its electric vehicles of petrol/diesel models .
Meanwhile, the successor to the A4 is expected to debut later this year. The A6 is due for a facelift soon, so it could be renamed the A7 as early as 2024 or 2025, unless Audi waits for the next-gen car. The flagship A8 will keep its moniker for the next-generation model arriving late next year as it will be sold strictly as an electric vehicle.
No less than 20 new cars will be launched in the next two years, more than half of which will do without the internal combustion engine. Duesmann has confirmed that one will sit under the Q4 E-Tron to serve as Audi’s entry-level electric vehicle, presumably a compact sedan as the electric A3 but on a dedicated platform .