We've just driven Audi's entry into the compact luxury segment, the A3 sedan, and there's something different we noticed about it - Audi has changed the way it badges its cars.
Audi introduces new nomenclature with A3
For example, their 2.0-litre TDI that we've driven would have typically got the 2.0TDI badge, however, it now gets 35TDI badge. This is Audi's new 'dynamic factor' nomenclature system, which the carmaker will now use to calculate the performance of a given model and variant. The Audi A3 petrol variant is now badged as 40TFSI.
The same 2.0-litre diesel motor can be tuned to give out different performance outputs in different models, and this fact is not reflected by the current badging technique. It is for this reason that Audi has changed the way it names its cars. Simply put, the bigger the number, the faster it can get to 100kph. The 35 and 40 in the badging are relative numbers to indicate which one is quicker.
We first saw this kind of badging on the China-spec Audi A4L. What, according to current practice, would have been 2.0TFSI, is now 35 TFSI for the model with the 2.0-litre petrol engine making 178bhp, and 40 TFSI for the same engine tuned to produce 208bhp. Previously, both the cars would have been badged the Audi A4 L 2.0TFSI.
Whether Audi's other models get this badging and when, however, remains to be seen.