Audi reveals its future design strategy
Audi has released an official document that outlines its future design strategy, which will see a greater differentiation among models, interior-exterior design consistency and a stronger link between design and technology.
Below we report the official report, which explains how the new core features of the design strategy have been implemented and demonstrated by the company’s latest show car, the Crosslane Coupé Concept presented at the past Paris Motor Show.
Wolfgang Egger firmly believes that “good design must always express a vision.”
The Head of Audi Design senses that automotive design is ready for a change. “We need something new without breaking with tradition.” Audi Design has been reorganized, and Egger and his team are redefining their focus.
They are placing more emphasis on the creative process and are thus exerting a substantial influence on the design of future Audi products.
Technology integrated into design
The Audi design language and philosophy will focus on a strong link between technology and design. Egger’s credo: “Only when design and technology mesh perfectly does an automobile make a statement for the Audi brand.”
Technology will therefore no longer be enclosed, but rather exposed. For the first time, the union of technology and design will emphasize internal technical elements so strongly that it will create a new dimension of product authenticity.
Pure technology and innovative combinations of materials are reflected in the design of the Audi crosslane coupé.
In particular the Multimaterial Space Frame – a joint development of designers and lightweight construction experts– is visible at multiple locations in the show car: in the single-frame grille, through intakes in the engine hood, at the sills when opening the door, at the A-pillar and as a load-bearing element in the form of a functional carbon strip in the cockpit.
Interior and exterior intertwine
Thanks to the holistic design, the interior and exterior of future model generations are more closely intertwined than ever to create a seamless unity that makes it easier to distinguish the models by their interiors as well.
This additional differentiation further accentuates the unique character of each model in the cabin. The stronger link between the exterior and interior is also visible from behind the wheel of the crosslane coupé.
“The cabin opens in the direction of travel and continues as an unbroken line in the engine hood,” says Karl-Heinz Rothfuss, Head of Interior Design.
Clear, clean surfaces and fewer control elements in the interior enable a greater concentration on the driving experience. The cabin design is focused on the driver.
“Our refined strategy at Audi Design emphasizes clarity and a focus on the essentials,” says Egger in summary.
The Concept Design Studio
The Concept Design Studio in Munich is showing the way and reflects the freedom in the work process of the creative talents.
Automotive designers and product designers benefit from one another’s creative ideas. Designers give their ideas free reign where there was once a car workshop.
Thanks to Wolfgang Egger’s studio concept, the three segments of automotive design – Interior, Exterior and Color&Trim – will work more closely together at Audi headquarters in the future in order to design a car from a holistic perspective, particularly during the initial creative phase.
“For our design studios in Ingolstadt, the Munich idea foundry is like a satellite that is allowed to provoke occasionally and thus stimulate the potential for innovation,” says Steve Lewis, Head of the Concept Design Studio in Munich.
In terms of the structure of the work process, the studio format means that the first design phase takes place in small teams.
“Teams come up with the best ideas,” says Egger. The Crosslane Coupé show car is the work of both the Munich design studio and the studios in Ingolstadt.
It gives a taste of how the future models of the Audi Q family might look.
Model lines differentiation
All of these factors will result in greater differentiation between the A, R and Q model lines in the future. Looking ahead, the design team is initially concentrating on the Q family. It embodies a robust, distinctive appearance.
Audi Design is therefore making the single-frame grille more three-dimensional to support the powerful presence characterizing every Q model.
Staged as an independent sculpture, the three-dimensional single-frame grille is the defining influence on the overall exterior design of the Q family.
This feature can be seen on the show car on display at this year’s Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris. Its removable center roof element of carbon is also distinctive. It transforms the urban SUV into an open-top all-arounder.