Name Game: A Plug-in Audi You Won't Buy Hints at Others You Might

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
name game a plug in audi you wont buy hints at others you might

If the realm of bad — or at least confusing — model naming, no one hits it out of the park quite like Cadillac and Audi. Both automakers, already fond of foisting alphanumeric nameplates on their respective lineups, recently introduced new naming schemes drawn from a model’s individual power output.

Cadillac’s gambit sees a rounded-up three-figure number sourced from a model’s torque figure (in Newton-Meters, amazingly) placed after the model name. Audi, on the other hand, will use double-digit figures pertaining to the range of horsepower output. In other Audi name news, the brand opted to place the “e-tron” label only on fully electric cars, scrapping their use on plug-in hybrids.

And so it became that the new plug-in hybrid A6 does not carry the e-tron name. Instead, people will know it as the Audi A6 55 TFSI e quattro — just not here.

In North America, no one will see the electrified A6, as Audi doesn’t plan to offer it in these shores. Instead, we’ll see a Q5, A7, and A8 that share electric bits with the overseas-only A6 PHEV. Actually, not just electric bits, but the entire powertrain.

Audi’s lengthily-named A6 draws its power from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder married closely to a potent electric motor. Total output rings in at 362 horsepower, channelled to all four wheels through a seven-speed S Tronic automatic; a toned-down, 295 hp “50” variant will soon follow.

While U.S.-bound Q5 and A7 plug-ins will see the same “55” and “TFSI e” designations, the A8 is said to arrive with a “60” on the trunklid. Sourcing its electric motivation from a 14.1 kWh battery pack placed below the trunk floor, the A6 55 TFSI e is capable of reaching 84 mph without the use of gasoline. Range, on the European WLTP cycle, is up to 32.9 miles. Expect a slightly lower EPA figure for U.S. models borrowing this technology.

Presales began in Germany today for the plug-in A6, with the automaker boasting that its specs will keep the taxman at bay.

In citing its EV driving range figures, Audi stated, “Thus the tax rate imposed on it when used as a company car in Germany is cut in half. The powerful plug-in hybrid model is the only premium sedan in the direct competitive environment that has quattro all-wheel drive on board.”

Germany recently climbed on the green car bandwagon in a big way, enforcing its EU-mandated emissions rules with near-ruthless strictness. Cities in Germany can ban internal combustion-powered vehicles from certain areas or levy financial penalties on their usage, with even harsher restrictions looming on the horizon.

“The drive concept of the Audi A6 55 TFSI e quattro is designed so that customers can do most of their daily driving electrically and therefore with zero local emissions and nearly without sound,” the automaker stated. “They can choose between the three drive modes, “EV” for all-electric driving, “Hybrid” for the efficient combination of both drive types and “Hold” to conserve the electrical energy available at any given time.”

Expect similar features on the crop of PHEVs arriving in the U.S. next year. Power shouldn’t be an issue, despite the downsized displacement and likely added weight borne by these green beasts — the A6 55 TFSI e sprints to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds.

[Image: Audi]

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2 of 9 comments
  • Loopy55 Loopy55 on Oct 22, 2019

    Read the European reviews and they rave about the new plug-in Audi's. Better than the Volvos by far.

  • Michael S6 Michael S6 on Oct 22, 2019

    BMW is bringing it's new hybrid 3 and 5 series to USA next year with similar size battery. Surprised that Audi is not doing the same.

  • Jeff S Some of us don't care either way we are not into this type of car. Most of these will be stored in garages waiting for their value to go up. As someone above noted this is an old body style which is retro 70s Challenger which after researching it came out in the 2008 MY which means a long run for a model that is in its 16th year. I have always liked these but if I bought one I would not spend this kind of money on one probably get the V-6 version and use it as a family car but then I am not into drag racing or muscle cars. For the type of car it is it has a decent rear seat and not too bad of a trunk. Most of us are not going to spend 100k for any vehicle at least currently so its not something most of us will buy and stick in a garage waiting for its value to increase. I am glad that these editions came out for those who can afford them and it keeps a little more color into what has become a very dull vehicle market but then with age I pick the dull appliance like reliable vehicle because that's what I need. Impressive car but not for me.
  • Jonathan The Germans. So organized they can appear disorganized. I agree with some others, classic names like Thunderbird, Imperial, Grand Prix, Ambassador etc. just have more appeal.
  • Bobbysirhan A friend had one when they first came out. He was CFO of some green California company and could charge the Volt at work. At home, the PHEV gave him an excuse to make his wife park her nicer car outdoors while the Volt get their condo's one-car garage. He liked the Volt, and he spent very little on energy during the 'first one's free!' era of EV ownership. Of course, the green company went bust soon after, and he wound up with a job that involved far more driving and ultimately the need for a more substantial car. I drove the Volt once after his wife had made a return trip to Los Angeles, depleting the battery. I don't know what a first gen Volt drives like with a charged battery, but it was really gutless with two adults, a yellow lab, and a dead battery. My other memory of it was that it had a really cramped back seat for a car that was about as large as a Civic. My friend who bought it liked it though, and that's not always been the case for GM vehicles.
  • MrIcky I think the Shakedown is more my speed of the last call editions- but this is impressive.
  • Dukeisduke I tried watching the live reveal last night, but after 15 minutes of jawing by MT+ personalities (and yes, I like Chris Jacobs and Alex Taylor), I turned it off.