A few Audi designers have left the four-ringed brand over the past decade or so. Most famously, Peter Schreyer, the man behind the original Audi TT, left Ingolstadt to go head KIA’s design team. There have been a few others since then, as per usual in the industry, but the latest to leave is Carsten Monnerjan, who’s now gone to Italdesign.
It’s not a lateral move, either. Monnerjan wasn’t the head of Audi’s design, that’s Marc Lichte, but he’s now the head of design at Italdesign.
For those that don’t know, Italdesign was founded by the legendary automotive designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro. Among his stunning designs are the original Maserati Ghibli, BMW M1, Lotus Esprit and the famous DeLorean. Now, though, Italdesign is actually part of Audi, as the four-ringed brand acquired the Italian design firm back in 2012. So even though Monnerjan is leaving the actual Audi brand, he’s still connected to it a bit.
Of course, we don’t know the inner workings of Audi’s design team, so we don’t know exactly how influential Monnerjan was on the brand’s current designs. However, he has to have been quite good for Italdesign to want him to head up their team.
What would really be interesting would be for Audi to use Italdesign to consult on some designs in the future. The four-ringed brand makes some really great looking cars at the moment but if there’s a complaint overall it’s that its designs are a bit too familiar. It would be nice to see the brand spice things up a bit and add some Italian flair to its designs.
The man Monnerjan replaces is Filippo Perini, who actually went on to join Hyundai’s Genesis brand back in September. So it marks yet another big-name designer moving over to Hyundai/KIA. It shows in the designs of their cars.