Audi had a big presence at the 2019 LA Auto Show. Not only did it unveil two extraordinary performance cars, the RS6 Avant and RS Q8, but it also showed off its latest electric car, the Audi e-tron Sportback. While there, Autocar spoke with Audi’s exterior design boss Andreas Mindt to talk about the future of electric car design and the Audi e-tron GT.
Electric car design is a bit polarizing at the moment, as some brands prefer uber-futuristic styling while others prefer simpler, more traditional styling. Some brands want to completely break away from current automotive design norms, such as front grilles. However, Mindt feels that EVs still need these elements.
“It’s a myth that electric cars don’t need cooling and they don’t need a face – it’s not true. The battery and motor with this level of performance needs the cooling. It’s also a myth that electric cars need a short bonnet and a long A-post. If you do that, the dashboard gets bigger and you have more heat inside the car from the size of the glass windscreen. Then you can’t get the heat away as the energy management in an electric car is very low.” Mindt told Autocar.
However, that’s not to say that Audi wants to stay overly traditional with its EV designs. Just take the Audi AI:TRAIL for instance, which is one of the more futuristic and interesting automotive designs we’ve seen in ages.
“We want to be progressive. The AI:Trail was very futuristic. People either loved it or hated it. We wanted to go to the future and show what could be done thinking differently. It’s like a helicopter on four wheels, like sending something sneaking through the forest rather than a 4×4 to smash through the terrain. It’s the opposite to the norm.” he said.
He also spoke a bit about the upcoming Audi e-tron GT, the brand’s first all-electric performance car. While a lot of enthusiasts are quick to call it a supercar (we have), Mindt doesn’t feel that battery technology is ready for supercars just yet.
“The e-tron GT is a first step in this direction. I can imagine steps like this. Let’s see what happens – there are great chances. The energy in the battery is limited at the moment, so you need a jump in technology for [supercars].