The range explained... Audi
Don’t know your A3 from your E-Tron? Don’t worry, we’ve got everything you need to know about Audi and the cars it makes.
The logo of four interconnected rings symbolises these four companies, and was carried over from Auto Union when Audi was formed in 1969. This was when Auto Union was bought by Volkswagen, merged with another car company – NSU – and the Audi name was revived.
The name comes from the name of the Audi and Horch founder, August Horch. “Horch” is German for “listen”, and the Latin for listen is “audi”.
The company has a strong history of motorsport, dating back to the early days of Grand Prix racing in the 1930s. It’s also competed and won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and in the World Rally Championship.
Today, after strong growth in the 2000s, it sells millions of cars all over the world, and has factories in Germany, around Europe, in South America and in Asia. Let’s take a look at the cars it sells in the UK.
If you’re after something a bit bigger, check out the A3 range. This car is similar in size to the Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus, and comes in a range of versions to suit different needs. As well as the five-door hatchback, known as the A3 Sportback, it also comes as a saloon or a convertible, known as the Cabriolet. If you’re a performance fan, Audi does a sportier version of all three, called the S3, and an even more hardcore version of the Sportback and Saloon, called the RS3.
For something with a bit more swish, the A5 ramps up the style over practicality. Around the same size as the A4, it’s available as a two-door coupe called, imaginatively, the A5 Coupe. You can also get a five-door hatchback version called the A5 Sportback, and a convertible called the A5 Cabriolet. Once again, all three are available with extra power in S5 guise. The Coupe version is also available with yet more power and sporty bits, in the form of the RS5 Coupe.
If you want something bigger, check out the A6, which offers customers an alternative to rivals like the Mercedes E-Class or BMW 5 Series. It comes as either a Saloon or an A6 Avant estate, and once again there are sportier versions – the S6 Saloon and S6 Avant – and a monster estate, called the RS6 Avant. Like the A4, there’s a mild off-road version called the A6 Allroad Quattro.
For a more luxurious, limousine-like vibe, check out the A8, which comes as a saloon in two sizes; regular, or the extended-wheelbase A8 L for extra space inside. This is one of Audi’s flagship cars, and comes available with all the latest technology the company can develop.
It’s followed, logically enough, by the Q3, which compares in size to the likes of the Range Rover Evoque or Volkswagen Tiguan.
For something larger, the Q5 is an alternative to BMW’s X3 and the Mercedes GLC. It’s also available as a sportier, more powerful model called the SQ5.
Not big enough? Step forward, the Q7, which is a full-size, seven-seat SUV to take on cars like the Land Rover Discovery and Volvo XC90.
If you want something a bit more stylish, look at the Q8, which ups the style factor alongside rivals like the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe. It loses the Q7’s third row of seats in favour of shorter length and a more sweeping, coupe-like roofline.
If, however, they’re still not quick enough, look towards the R8. This is a proper supercar that shares parts with Lamborghini, and it’s available as a coupe or a convertible, called the R8 Spyder. Mind-numbing speed and agility come as standard, but they don’t come cheap.
Cylinder on demand: A system that temporarily deactivates some of the engine’s cylinders while driving, in order to save fuel. If the driver accelerates, they come back into play instantly.
DIS: Driver Information System, the name for the information displayed on screens in the instrument panel.
High-beam assistant: A system that uses sensors in front of the car to automatically switch between main and dipped beam headlights as necessary.
MMI: Multi Media Interface, the name for Audi’s infotainment system.
Magnetic ride: A type of suspension system that uses magnetic particles in oil to quickly adjust the stiffness of the dampers and adapt to different road surfaces.
S tronic: A type of automatic gearbox that uses two clutches for a faster and smoother shift.
TFSI: Turbo fuel stratified injection, a name for Audi’s turbocharged petrol engines.
Tiptronic: An automatic gearbox that lets you switch from automatic mode to manual mode, and shift gears using the gear lever or paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.