Audi wants to differentiate itself from Mercedes-Benz by keeping its all-electric e-tron moniker in the future, even though – as it mentioned a few months ago – it plans to gradually phase out production of its internal combustion engine cars by 2033, with only EVs being launched as new models from 2026 forward.

The statement comes from Marc Lichte, Audi’s chief designer, who spoke to TopGear about this matter during the brand’s Activesphere concept preview last week. Answering a question about the name’s death, he said “No, no, no, I think [e-tron is] a very clear differentiation, and… there will be one differentiation more. But it’s too early to talk about it yet,” hinting towards a new badge that might set apart the EVs from the hybrids and ICE-only models.

“We have to wait until the end of this year, then you will see there is even more detail which differentiates combustion engine and EVs,” added Lichte for TopGear.

Gallery: 2022 Audi E-Tron GT: Review

This piece of information comes as rival German brand Mercedes-Benz is reportedly thinking about ditching the EQ name from its all-electric lineup, as it plans to go fully electric by 2030, thus using a name differentiator will become redundant.

Audi plans to only launch all-electric cars by 2026, with a scheduled phase-out of internal combustion-engined cars by 2033 and it could have gone the same route as Mercedes, but it seems it has other plans.

The luxury German brand based in Ingolstadt recently revealed a sleek all-electric coupe-crossover prototype named Activesphere, which seems to preview a rugged off-roader that will rival the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQG and Land Rover Defender EV. What’s interesting about Audi’s first-ever foray into this segment is that it will reportedly be based on the yet-to-be-released platform of the teased Scout EV SUV and pickup.

That’s a lot to take in, I know, but it looks like Audi has big plans for its electrified future, including keeping the e-tron name, with an emphasis on designing the interior of a new model first, and then the exterior.

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