Audi says it will move away from the copy-cat styling that defines its current lineup in order to make it easier for potential buyers to tell its models apart.
While the company’s current styling direction has created a recognizable and (arguably) attractive brand-wide look, the unintended consequence is a number of cars that are tough to distinguish from one another — like the A4, A6 and A8 sedans.
And according to Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, Audi’s recent push into the Chinese marketplace is to blame for that.
“This design process was used to make Audis more recognizable in newer and emerging markets,” said Stadler. “Now (that) we are well known in major markets like China, we can begin to change this philosophy and give each car its own look.”
Stadler and Audi design boss Mark Lichte said we’ll begin to see the changes start after the E-tron quattro SUV launch — expected in 2019 — which it will follow up with a number of other electric models.
Lichte says electric powertrains will allow Audi’s designers to play with vehicle proportions so that “design will go in a very different way.”