Some people are reluctant to flaunt the specs of their car, while others want to show off even things that the car doesn't actually have. It's quite normal. In recent years, it is not normal that the second group increasingly includes car manufacturers themselves. And badges on cars are less and less likely to reflect what's under the hood.
Fraud with signs
Previously, there were also frauds with signs. For example, trying Jaguar sell you Ford Mondeo as an X-Type, or an offer from Cadillac to try out the base Chevy Cavalier as a luxury model called the Cimarron. Since there are identified people among the buyers, such attempts usually end badly. In both cases, they drove the Jaguar and Cadillac to the brink of bankruptcy.
However, at the present time, another tendency is increasing: to deceive us not in the name of the model, but in the description of the technical characteristics. Using increased horsepower or engine displacement to differentiate between different versions of the vehicle seems to be the most logical step.
What the signs say
If 20 years ago we saw on the street BMW with the 325i nameplate, it would inform that it is a third series car (3) with a 2,5-liter engine (25), which uses petrol injection (i). If Mercedes wore the C280 nameplate, which meant that the car was a C-class with an engine capacity of 2,8 liters.
Nowadays, cars still have signs with symbols because customers are used to them and expect them (some are willing to pay extra for this). But between these numbers and the real world, there is a huge gap. Here are some examples.
The Bavarians were forced to modify their slender system with model codes due to the invasion of turbochargers. First, large units fall out of range one by one due to environmental requirements.
Secondly, new 4- and 6-cylinder units of the same volume can have all kinds of power, depending on the turbocharging. The 20i stands for a two-liter fuel-injected engine, but this two-liter engine can produce up to 155 or 420 horsepower.
And in this case, the M 50d plate refers to the same 2,99-liter six-cylinder diesel that powers both the 30d and 40d. The difference is that the turbine is triple.
The same goes for the great rival of the Bavarians. For example, in the new GLB version "200" is equipped with ... 1,33-liter turbo engine. "250" means two liters with power ... you guessed it, not 250, but 224 horsepower.
A subtle delusion to which we are also attached. This Ford Ranger badge was so carefully glued on all sides with chrome plates numbered 3.2 / 6 that we confidently concluded: a 3,2-liter 6-cylinder engine. In fact, the engine has five cylinders, and the number 6 stands for the number of automatic transmissions.
An American journalist once complained that he was testing a new Cadillac XT6 with a "400" badge on the back, and was pleasantly surprised that the company gave the crossover a whopping 400 horses. But it was later discovered that 400 is the maximum torque in Newton meters, not pound feet, as is the practice in the United States.
But this is just the beginning of the joke. The torque of the XT6 in question is not 400 Newton meters, but only 373. But the company "rounded" it - of course, to a higher value.
The absolute leader in confusing buyers is the luxury brand Audi, which completely changed its range of models a couple of years ago, ostensibly to make it more understandable for buyers.
The result is exactly the opposite. When you see the A1 labeled 30 TFSI on the rear, you will say that this is the most refined version - if not with a three-liter engine, then at least with solid power. In fact, the engine has a displacement of 0,99 liters, three cylinders and 115 horsepower.
The confusion stems from the fact that the new two-digit markers of the Germans do not reflect the displacement and power. Audi has created a scale with eight divisions, each of which gets one number - from 30 to 70. And accordingly, if you see model 55, you need to open the list and see that the power is from 330 to 370 horsepower.
In addition, the company applies the same methodology to its electrical models. Habit and common sense whisper that the 55 quattro is, if not a 5,5-liter engine, then a minimum of 6 cylinders. In fact, the same plate adorns an electric car that has no cylinders.
The system drove American customers crazy, and Audi ditched it specifically for the United States.