Currently reading: Audi ditches 'Russian doll' car design
As the brand is now recognised in emerging markets, Audi now has the ability to differentiate its models
Sam Sheehan
News
2 mins read
2 January 2018

Audi is ditching the ‘Russian doll’ design philosophy it has become synonymous with in order to give upcoming models more defined looks.

Like its German rivals Mercedes and BMW, the Ingolstadt car maker’s designers have in recent years employed a technique of consistency across the bulk of its line-up. However, since the launch of the Q2, model designs have become more varied.

Audi entertains BMW 8 Series rival

“This [repetition] design process was used to make Audis more recognisable in newer and emerging markets,” explained the company’s chief executive, Rupert Stadler. “Now we are well known in major markets like China, we can begin to change this philosophy and give each car its own look.”

Design boss Marc Lichte added: “We recognise 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.”

Lichte believes the biggest step forward for design at Audi will come when the marque launches more electric cars after the E-tron quattro SUV, which is due on roads next year.

He said that the more compact dimensions of electric powertrains means “proportions can change” for the better.

“Design will go in a very different way,” Lichte continued. “[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.”

Read more

Audi A8 review 

Audi A7 review 

BMW 8 Series sheds more disguise

 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review

Audi downsizes its Q-badged SUV line-up by one more notch, but can the Q2 drive inspire buyers to forgo the Seat Ateca and Mini Countryman?

Join the debate

Comments
17
Add a comment…
Malcypoos 5 January 2018

Do we.....

Really care?
Cobnapint 3 January 2018

I've heard some crap...!

And now I've heard a bit more.
comment8 3 January 2018

Jelly Moulds

Skoda, recently put a de-badged model on display at Barcelona Airport in order to demonstrate its premium appearance. People judged it to at a VW Group product above other makers and an Audi above any group stablemates.  There are bigger problems with generic design infecting the group. Audi would be keen to differentiate itself from Skoda but the weak Q2 is evidence that the current crop of designers is struggling to break the mould. Fresh talent is needed.

abkq 3 January 2018

comment8 wrote:

comment8 wrote:

Skoda, recently put a de-badged model on display at Barcelona Airport in order to demonstrate its premium appearance. People judged it to be a VW Group product above other makers

Interesting. As I've always suspected, 'premium' is often no more than badge associated.

Never mind hard or soft plastics, Skoda oozes premium because its design language (Octavia & Superb) has a restrained confidence that puts it far above, say, the 'try too hard' looks of a Ford. A Vignale reminds of the nouveau-riche who spends a million dollars at Woolworths to furnish his villa. Ford please give us something like the stylistic boldness and innovation of the Mk1 Focus (it was a good drive too) An 'Aston' grille doesn't make a Ford premium !

Find an Autocar car review