Polite people will call it evolutionary, while those who are less polite will question whether the new ideas bank at Audi is empty - but whichever way you go, it's hard to argue that the all-new Q5 looks all-new, or to argue that it won't sell by the bucketload (whether it be regardless of that or a result of it).

One leading designer from a rival firm described the pressure put on design teams to create sure-fire winners as "potentially crippling". His theory is that success stifles innovation, because it gives senior managers more pressure to keep the ball rolling. Change too much and fail and the results and ramifications are clear for all to see.

"We're asked to design cars that sell," he said. "If you are asked to redesign a car that is selling well, then they also tell you not to screw it up - although not perhaps in that language. At that point the pressure to stick to what you know is huge."

Apply that theory to Audi and it rings true - although I should stress that I've no idea if it really is true. The company is mega-successful in sales and profit terms and one of the engine rooms of the Volkswagen Group's profit margins, and you can understand why designers and bosses would be loathe to fiddle with a successful formula like the Q5. The result? Evolutionary new cars such as the one revealed today.

The good news is that change is coming under the stewardship of new head of design Marc Lichte. His Prologue concept showed enough to suggest we should be hopeful - excited, even - that greater change is finally on the way.

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