Audi is internationally recognized for its handsome car designs, so the exit of current Audi chief designer Wolfgang Egger is significant news.

According to Car and Driver, Egger has been "relieved of duties" as head of Audi design, moving to the Italian design house Italdesign Giugiaro. The design and engineering company is itself 90.1 percent owned by Lamborghini, a subsidiary of Audi and responsible for several recent Audi and Volkswagen-branded concept vehicles.

Egger's departure follows the recent move of Audi's former exterior design chief Achim Badstübner to rival Mercedes-Benz--highlighting tensions within Audi's design studio following a reorganization orchestrated by Egger. In his place, Audi has drafted in senior Volkswagen designer Marc Lichte. Lichte has been partly responsible for successful Volkswagen designs like the current Scirocco coupe--not sold in the U.S.--and the latest Volkswagen Beetle, as well as several generations of the Volkswagen Golf.

Egger's résumé is equally impressive. Starting his career in 1989 at Alfa Romeo, he was made chief designer there in 1993. He moved briefly to Volkswagen-owned Spanish brand SEAT, where his input resulted in cars like the Ibiza, Cordoba and Altea, before moving back to Alfa Romeo. Among his later work at the Italian brand was the 2007-2010 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione--Alfa's V-8-engined sports car.


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