Thursday, December 27, 2012

Future Audi Models will Differ More in Design from Each Other, Says R&D Boss

Things are looking great for Audi: in the first 11 months of the year, its sales have already exceeded 2011’s total, recording a 12.7 percent increase and it’s nigh impossible to find a niche in which it doesn’t compete.

Alas, in their efforts to create a family look its designers have taken things a bit too far. In fact, in certain cases, it’s difficult to distinguish one model from the other, especially from the front…

That’s not nitpicking but a fact that even Wolfgang Dürheimer, the ex-Bentley boss who since September is Audi’s board member responsible for research and development, acknowledges.

Although he has praised some of the brand’s models as “absolute eye-catchers”, he has admitted “hearing criticism from some markets” that some of Audis cars look too similar; and that’s something he wants to change.

“In the future, I will work with our designers to differentiate the ‘faces’ of our various model series even more”, Dürheimer told German publication AutoMotorundSport. “The customer of an A8 will, in the future, find details in his car that will fifer significantly from those on the A4 or the A6.”

Dürheimer isn’t willing to ditch the family look altogether but wants his designers to have more courage: “The objective is to move forward with even greater steps and more courage to new lines. However, our future models will be clearly and unmistakably identified as Audis,” he added.

The 54-year old, whom Forbes recently christened “the next king of Volkswagen”, has so far succeeded in all the missions assigned to him within the VW kingdom. After all, compared to launching the Cayenne during his stint at Porsche, making Audis look a bit different to each other must look like a piece of bratwurst…

By Andrew Tsaousis

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