Audi looks set to end the trend among Germany’s three major luxury auto brands of having vehicle lineups with very little differentiation when it comes to styling.
The practice was largely introduced to familiarize buyers in emerging markets, namely China, of a brand and its various models. However, Audi now feels that it is well established in these markets and thus is willing to take the plunge with more diverse designs.
The trend has already started with the Q2 compact SUV that was unveiled at the 2016 Geneva motor show. Though still recognizable as an Audi, the design of the lights, front grille and C-pillar is different to what you see on other model from the brand’s lineup.
“We recognize that there is a place for more differentiation now,” Audi design boss Marc Lichte told Autocar in a recent interview. “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.”
Also helping the trend along are the opportunities made possible by electric powertrains. According to Lichte, the compact dimensions of electric powertrains allow car designers to be much more creative when it comes to proportion, which is the single most important aspect of good car design. Examples he gave of what was now possible thanks to electric powertrains were shorter overhangs and lower hoods.