Audi is finally ditching its ‘Russian doll’ design philosophy.
For years, Audi’s cars have been hard to distinguish thanks to the automaker’s repetitive design language across its line-up. That’s soon about to change however, as CEO Rupert Stadler revealed to Autocar that future Audi cars will adopt more distinctive designs. In fact, we’ve already seen Audi belatedly revamp its styling with the new compact Q2 crossover, its flagship sedan, the all-new A8, and the stylish A7 sportback. But what inspired Audi to adopt its ‘Russian doll’ design philosophy in the first place?
According to Stadler, it was a deliberate strategy to make Audi more recognizeable in “newer and emerging” markets like China. “This [repetition] design process was used to make Audis more recognizable in newer and emerging markets,” Stadler explained. “Now we are well known in major markets like China, we can begin to change this philosophy and give each car its own look.” “We recognize that there is a place for more differentiation now,” Design boss Marc Lichte added. “Since our cars are in production for a minimum of six years, in today’s world I think each model should have its own design to be attractive for this long time.”
We’ll start to see even more significant styling changes when Audi introduces more electric cars to its lineup after the E-Tron SUV launches next year. “Design will go in a very different way” according to Lichte, as working with electric powertrains will give Audi more freedom to change proportions. As a result, we’ll start to see cars in Audi’s lineup boast shorter overhangs and lower hoods, resulting in a “more attractive design overall”.