German luxury car manufacturer Audi has a rich history, dating back to the 1930s. In this series of blogs, you will learn about the past, present, and future of one of the best-selling luxury brands in the world. This week, we will discuss how Audi models get their name — and what they mean.

While names like A5, R8, and TT may sound random or even confusing at first, there is a logical structure behind the nomenclature. At its simplest level, the first letter shows what type of vehicle it is, and the second letter or number denotes the size of the vehicle. While some models do not strictly adhere to this structure, it is a good starting point. We will go into more detail below.

Audi Model Names: Letters Of Note

A and S Models

Audi models that begin with the letter A are sedans or hatchbacks. The larger the following number is, the larger the car is. This means that the A3 is Audi’s smallest sedan, and the A8 is their largest.

Most Audi sedans and hatchbacks have a similar model beginning with the letter S. The letter S stands for sport, meaning a larger, more powerful engine with greater horsepower and torque. For example, the S6 is similar in appearance to the A6, but with an 8-cylinder 450-horsepower engine compared to the A6’s 333-horsepower 6-cylinder engine.

Q Models

Q stands for quattro®, Audi’s legendary all-wheel drive system. Models that begin with the letter Q are SUVs, crossovers, and wagons — and they always come equipped quattro®. Just like with Audi sedans, the Q3 is the smallest is the Q7 is the largest.

R Models

R stands for roadster, and models like the R8 are mid-engine 2-seater performance sports cars. These cars are based on a body structure called Audi Space Frame, a high strength aluminum frame with integrated panels that is lighter and stronger than traditional steel.

RS Models

RS in an abbreviation of “Rennsport,” the German translation of “Race-Sport”. RS models are Audi’s highest performing, most powerful vehicles. Traditionally, Audi only produces one RS model at a time, with the current RS 7 offering an astonishing 605-horsepower TFSI® engine that can go from 0 to 60 in just 3.3 seconds.

TT Models

TT models are an exception to the established rules of the naming convention, named for the Tourist Trophy, a motorcycle racing event held on the Isle of Man for over a century. TT models are compact sports cars featuring transversely mounted turbocharged engines. The TT is available in S and RS models, explained above.

In the coming weeks, you will learn more about what makes Audi vehicles so special. Next time, we’ll talk about the history of the Audi brand. In the meantime, feel free to visit the showroom at Audi Asheville in North Carolina today and see the best in performance luxury.