One of the more interesting aspects of Audi’s e-tron design language is the continued existence of the Singleframe grille shape. Electric cars don’t need front grilles, without having engines up front and all, so many EV automakers just completely eliminate the look of a grille up front altogether. Not Audi, though, as all of its e-tron vehicles still have the shape of the brand’s signature grille design worked into it and the brand intends to continue that trend.
According to the brand’s design team, the Singleframe grille design on its e-tron models is “electric face” of those cars. Which does make sense from a branding perspective. So much about car design is about accentuating the brand and many grille designs have become synonymous with the brand itself. Audi’s Singleframe grille is one such example and Audi isn’t keen on throwing away all of that brand recognition, simply because powertrain technology changed. So the grille design stays, even if it isn’t an actual grille.
In Audi’s defense, it actually does this better than most other automakers. Its integration of the Singleframe design is better than the electric “grilles” of cars like the BMW iX and Mercedes-Benz EQC. For example, the Audi e-tron GT’s front end is great looking and the face of the A6 e-tron might be even better. Audi cleverly works the grille into the face by matching it to the body color of the car and then adding trim around it. So the grille seems like a continuation of the car, rather than some tacked-on styling gimick.
Also, cars look weird without grilles. Look at the Tesla Model 3, it looks like Keanu Reeves when he got his mouth sewn shut in The Matrix. For customers who are used to buying current legacy vehicles, keeping similar design cues the same is going to help the transition. It makes perfect sense for Audi to keep the grille design, even if it’s purely aesthetic.
[Source: Motor Trend]