It’s no secret that Audi’s model lineup is a bit…similar. Spot an Audi A6 at a glance and you’d be hard pressed to tell whether or not it was an A4, A6 or A8. It’s a bit Russian Nesting Doll-like. They all look the same, just with different lengths. That sort of similarity was actually intentional, not design incompetence. However, the folks in Ingolstadt now plan on changing that.
“This [repetition] design process was used to make Audis more recognizable in newer and emerging markets,” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler told Autocar. “Now we are well known in major markets like China, we can begin to change this philosophy and give each car its own look.”
The individualization of design started with the Audi Q2 and will continue with newer models, such as the upcoming Audi Q8 SUV. “We recognize 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.” said Audi’s design boss, Marc Lichte.
Model design will continue to differentiate with electrification. Electric vehicles have different packaging requirements and, without the need for an internal combustion powertrain, EV designs can be drastically different. “Design will go in a very different way,” Lichte spoke about electric cars. “[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.”
We’re excited for what Audi has in store for the future of its design language, especially with electric cars. Audi’s design language has been quite stale for many years, although it has been getting better. So it’s nice to hear that the brand’s design language will be more unique across its model portfolio and that its electric vehicles will be more exciting.