The Audi Quattro project is very much alive at the firm, according to new design director Marc Lichte, who also revealed that a pure electric vehicle “completely different” in design to anything else on the market was also in the works.
Audi has shown two concept versions of a reborn Quattro in recent times, the 2010 Quattro and the 2013 Sport Quattro.
Speaking at the Los Angeles motor show, Lichte said Audi was continuing to work on a reborn Quattro. “We are working on Quattro, it is still alive,” he said.
Lichte believes that a future Qauttro can be even more extreme than the two concepts previously shown.
“The two concepts we did had base potential but we can do something more extreme,” he said. “We have restarted this project and made them more extreme. It’s still a secret though… There will be surprises.”
Lichte also spoke on the new electric car. “The battery electric vehicle will be one of the most important new cars,” he said. “It will be interesting, clever, different. It will be very different to every car on the market.”
He added that the car would break new ground even compared to the Tesla and BMW’s i range. “Tesla did an amazing job, but it looks like a conventional car,” he said. “What will it be like compared to the i3 and i8? It will be different.”
The modular MQB platform or any other existing arctiecture would not be used for the car. “The architecture will be completely new, something completely new,” said Lichte. “Will the batteries be in floor? I didn’t say that…”
The electric car is the project that excites Lichte the most in his new role, which he started on February 1 having moved from Volkswagen.
“The electric vehicle is the most interesting to design, and leaving my stamp on,” he said. “I don’t want to be radical. It will be different. Not radical. An Audi doesn’t have to be radical. The bonnet height for instance can be different as there is no engine underneath to dictate height. Everyone in the team is excited with this project.”
Lichte wouldn’t be drawn on specifics of the project such as size or bodystyle, but hinted a concept car was likely, and a family of electric Audis was possible.
“We will tease this car in the future with a concept car, I imagine,” he confirmed. “Will it be a family like the BMW i range? We shall see.”