Love it or hate it, the Singleframe grille is here to stay.
Signature grilles create a distinctive design language that makes it easy to recognize cars from certain brands. BMW's kidney grilles are a hallmark of the German automaker's design language, while Alfa Romeo's triangular grille sets the Italian automaker's cars apart. The Lexus spindle grille is controversial but creates a bold design language on models like the new UX. Since electric cars don't have combustion engines that need cooling, some automakers are no longer using traditional grilles, but Audi is bucking this trend.
Speaking with Motortrend, Audi confirmed that future cars in its lineup will still feature the brand's signature Singleframe grille, including electric cars.
Audi's Sphere concept cars, which envision what self-driving electric cars could look like in the future, will also feature the iconic signature grille. According to the designers, this "electric face" will set electric Audis apart from the competition.
BMW is adopting a similar strategy by applying a closed-off version of its signature kidney grilles with blue accents on electric models like the i4 and iX. It's not clear, however, how the Singleframe grille will be adapted for future models, but the A6 e-tron Concept could offer some clues. Audi's electric sedan concept features an enclosed version of the iconic Singleframe grille positioned above prominent air intakes.
Other brands are choosing to add body-color panels where you would normally find a grille. The Tesla Model S originally had a blackout panel resembling a grille, but this has been replaced with a body-color panel on the recent facelift. EVs still need grilles to cool down the batteries and motors, however, but they are often located below the bumper.
Audi's Singleframe grille was first introduced on the 2004 facelift of the Audi A8 and is still a signature design element on current models. While BMW's large kidney grilles are often criticized, Audi's Singleframe grille attracted controversy when it was introduced. Love it or hate it, the Singleframe grille is here to stay.