The Audi A4 will soon become the A5 Sedan.
According to a report from the UK's Auto Express, Audi will rename staples of its range in order to make it easier for customers to identify which vehicles are electric. The publication (which has not cited a source, so take this news with a pinch of salt for now) says that the Audi A4 will become the A5. The A5 will, therefore, spawn a sedan and an Avant (station wagon), supposedly killing off the A5 Sportback. Similarly, the report claims that the upcoming Audi A6 will become the A7. The A6 will live on in electric form as the A6 e-tron, which it seems will adopt unique styling traits compared to other Audi models. Basically, the claim is that even-numbered cars will move to all-electric powertrains.
If this rumor turns out to be true, it leaves us with some questions. First, what happens to models like the odd-numbered Audi A3, which will inevitably receive electrification along with the rest of Ingolstadt's lineup? Does this become the A2? Does the A4 become the new electric A3? And since Audi has decided to abandon internal combustion altogether within a decade, what is the point of restructuring the entire lineup's naming strategy when non-electrified Audis soon won't exist?
It's a puzzling rumor that makes us apprehensive as to its validity, but let's assume for a second that it is true. Using an earlier report (October 2021) from the same publication as context, it seems that the renaming exercise may only take place in the latter half of this decade, as the next-generation A4 will retain some form of combustion power. This will probably come with a confusing '45 TFSI' or similar badge on the trunk.
On the one hand, this rumor seems nonsensical and illogical. On the other, we know that Audi and German manufacturers, in general, are not always the most straightforward when it comes to naming and marketing cars. Mercedes used to sell the 6.2-liter V8-powered C63 with a badge that indicated it had a 6.3.
If that's not proof enough, take a look at BMW. Some years back, the Bavarians decided that sporty cars should have even numbers and more everyday cars should have odd ones. Hence, the 1 Series Coupe became the 2 Series Coupe, and the 3 Series Convertible became the 4 Series Convertible. That made sense, but shortly after, the company released an MPV with the 2 Series Active Tourer name, claiming that the family car needed an even number because it was too premium a product for the 1er range. Then came the 2 Series Gran Coupe, which is neither 2 Series-based nor a coupe.
Trust the Germans to build good cars, but don't expect them to name those cars in a sensible manner.
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