We spoke to the exterior designer of the new A6, Philippe Romers, on what he was trying to achieve with the model, the importance of looking different to other Audis and how design has contributed to Audi's ambitions to make the A6 more sporty than before.
What was your goal in designing the A6?
“It is the third car with Audi’s new design language after the A8 and A7. We have been criticised in the past for not differentiating our cars’ designs enough. Now, we give every car its own character. Our aim was to make the most sporty car in the segment.”
How have you achieved that differentiation?
“It has more muscular looks and a lower shoulder line than its siblings. The shoulder line leads towards the wheel, accentuating quattro [Audi’s four-wheel drive system], which is different to the A8. The grille is similar yet has different dimensions to the A8 and A7 and the front and rear light graphics are unique to the A6. The A7 and A8 have a light band across the rear. Instead, the A6 has chrome in its place to connect the lights.”
Aerodynamics have improved on the new A6 (from a Cd of 0.26 to 0.24).
How did the design contribute?
“The rear-view mirror sits on the shoulder. That helps with drag coefficient but is also good for design. Sports cars such as the Audi TT and Porsche 911 have mirrors here. It looks more sporty and there’s a better view out of the car. The contouring edge of the rear lights also helps, as does the front air curtain and the reduced gap between the tyres and wheel arches.”