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
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.

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“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.”

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2 January 2018

about time, all got a bit ridiculous.  Merc the worse, seeing a c class and not knowing if its a c, e or s class

3 January 2018
Emilio Tony wrote:

about time, all got a bit ridiculous.  Merc the worse, seeing a c class and not knowing if its a c, e or s class


Classy grille and bonnet ornament = S

Chavvy grille = C or E


5 January 2018

...if you cannot differentiate between an A class and a C class, never mind an S class!


Oh and it is "worst", not worse..dear, dear.


Will you rant, or recognise your errors?.

2 January 2018

Well known in China? They were leaders in the luxury segment in China up untill recently, and were one of the pioneers there, present since the 80s. They're KNOWN in China.


And if he's talking about differentiation he might need to take a look at his own work on the new A8, a car that could very well have been launched in 2008. Then again, apparently the A8 is revolutionary in styling ( his own words ), so it kinda makes you wonder if he even knows what he's talking about or if he should just tone the corporate spiel down a notch or three.

2 January 2018

This is great PR spin...they've been doing this since the 80's in various stages. Nowt to do with emerging markets, but hey if you tell us we'll believe it Audi!

2 January 2018

So.... in ignoring the PR talk, we should expect models with different LED design?

2 January 2018

Good.  The actual reason given is an utter load of cobblers, but the important thing is that is is happening.  And as everybody else appears to copy what Audi is doing, hopefully this will happen across the board with all the other manufacturers.

2 January 2018

Arguably, is 'the russian doll' method car design at all?  

This cynical copy and paste method of design may have allowed manufacturers to quickly grow a huge range of largely indecipherable and almost completely forgettable vehicles (kerrr-ching!).  But it's not really design is it?  (Must be gutting to be a modern car designer and be handed an image of an A4/A3/A6.... and told to make an SUV/Supermini/pickup truck, etc that looks almost exactly the same).

(IMO) It's turned modern cars into white-goods.  Either-way I hope others (esp. Land Rover) follow suit,

2 January 2018

PR crap!

Yes it will be good when Audi does move away from thgeir dreadfully boring Russin Doll styling.

Unfortunately its not just the styling that is dull with Audi cars.

They are almost all dreadfully dull and stodgy to drive - even the fast Audis dont seem to like the twists and turns of an interesting back road.

2 January 2018

Most of Audi's models have recently been replaced, or are just about to be, so I guess it will be some time before we see the results of this. But if the Q2 is seen as an example of Audi being 'more varied' I won't be holding my breath.


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