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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • 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.

  • Glennbk Please Mitsubishi, no more rebranded Nissan products.
  • Wolfwagen What I never see when they talk about electric trucks is how much do these things weigh and how much does that detract from the cargo-carrying capacity?
  • Wolfwagen I dont know how good the Triton is but if they could get it over here around the $25K - $30K They would probably sell like hotcakes. Make a stripped down version for fleet sales would also help
  • 3SpeedAutomatic You mentioned that Mitsubishi cars had lost their character. Many brands are losing that that element as well. GM is giving up on the ICE Camaro and Dodge on the ICE Challenger. There goes the Bad Boy image. Might as well get your teeth pulled and dentures put in place. Would like to see a few EVOs with cherry bomb exhaust and true 4 cylinder BIG blower turbos; 4 wheel drift capacity is mandatory!!🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos Here in my overseas summer palace, I filled up my tank twice in May, at 68 and 52 euros (a full 90+ liter tank fillup has taken 130-135 Euros in the past, and I am 23 miles from downtown here, while only 1-2 miles in the US)Still, diesel here is MUCH cheaper than gas. Yesterday, I paid 1,488 a liter while gas was at least 1,899 (regular).Multiply by almost 4 for gallons AND by an additional 1.1 for $.
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