Audi ditches ‘Russian doll’ car design

As the brand is now recognised in emerging markets, Audi now has the ability to differentiate its models

Like its German rivals Russian dolland BMW, the Ingolstadt car maker’s designers have in recent years employed a technique of consistency across the bulk of its line-up. However, since the launch of the Q2, model designs have become more varied.

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“This [repetition] design process was used to make Audis more recognisable in newer and emerging markets,” explained the company’s chief executive, Rupert Stadler. “Now we are well known in major markets like China, we can begin to change this philosophy and give each car its own look.”

Design boss Marc Lichte added: “We recognise that there is a place for more differentiation now. Since our cars are in production for a minimum of six years, in today’s world I think each model should have its own design to be attractive for this long time.”

Lichte believes the biggest step forward for design at Audi will come when the marque launches more electric cars after the E-tron quattro SUV, which is due on roads next year.

He said that the more compact dimensions of electric powertrains means “proportions can change” for the better.

“Design will go in a very different way,” Lichte continued. “[Designers] will have more material space to play with, so we’ll be able to produce [vehicles with] shorter overhangs and lower bonnets. It makes for a more attractive design overall.”


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