Marc Lichte, the current Audi design director who replaced the famous Walter da Silva, is planning on a big design revolution for the four-ringed brand and it’s all starting with the upcoming, next-generation Audi A8. At the moment, most Audis almost look like carbon copies of each other, with only length differentiating their styling. However, that’s about to change radically once the new A8 makes its debut next year.
On way that Lichte wants to improve Audi’s design language is to make it bolder. This is something that I think a lot of Audi enthusiasts will be happy to hear, as most modern Audis are good looking, but quite staid and even a bit boring. Lichte wants to create bolder designs that are more visually exciting, both inside and out, while also increasing technology.
The next-gen Audi A8 will feature a design that takes a lot of styling cues from Lichte’s Audi Prologue Concept. It will also be the first car whose design comes entirely from Lichte, as he’s only tweaked designs so far, with the newly-released Q2 and upcoming Q5. But the A8 will start his new design language and will feature a large, wide singleframe grille and a sleeker design. We’ve seen some spy shots of the A8 driving around wearing camouflage and it seems to borrow heavily from the Prologue Concept.
Following the A8 will be the A6 and A7, which will be even more different from each other than they currently are. Lichte wants to create much more separation, visually, between the A6 and A7 and make the A7 seem more upscale than the A6. The A7 will be flatter, wider and sleeker. It will also feature a full-width rear taillight that will distinguish it from its lesser siblings.
There will also be the upcoming Audi Q8, the Ingolstadt-based brand’s entry into the luxury SUV market, to compete with the Ranger Rover Autobiography. Along with the Audi A8, the Q8 will serve as the brand’s co-flagship and will be supremely luxurious as well as packed with the brand’s best tech.
All of Audi’s luxury cars moving forward will also be capable of “level 3 autonomy”. What this means is that they will be able to drive themselves completely at highway speed. So steering, throttle and braking, virtually every aspect of driving, will be able to be controlled autonomously at up to highway speed. For reference, Tesla’s Autopilot system is level 3. Audi even wants its upcoming new vehicles to feature buttonless interiors, meaning a lot of touchscreens or even touchless controls like BMW’s new Gesture Control.
So those of you who want Audi to stop carbon copying its models, rest easy now knowing that Audi has heard your calls. Lichte is here to shake things up and give Audi’s lineup a much-needed injection of style and change.