Some might assume that styling the next generation of an Audi model line is a fairly easy process. If recent models are any indication, you simply take the existing model, tweak a line here and there, give it a flashy new set of headlights, and send it to the metal stampers to be realized in all its Teutonic glory.
But Audi's head of R&D, Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, is less than happy with the way the next-generation A4 sedan and Q7 SUV are turning out, it seems. According to German site Focus (via Car and Driver), the automaker has delayed the launch of both models for styling changes and other small alterations. In the A4's case, Audi intends to adjust the styling slightly, but will use the car's one-year delay (until summer 2015) to fine-tune suspension and assistance systems. Audi also wants to offer a plug-in hybrid variant as soon as possible after the car's launch.
The Q7 is now experiencing its second styling-related delay. The car was previously sent back to the drawing board under former Audi chief designer Wolfgang Egger. While Egger has since been replaced by Marc Lichte, Hackenberg still isn't happy with the way the car looks. Sources within the company are reported to have said it "catered mainly to Russian tastes", and the designers are working on a less aggressive design than had originally been planned. The previous delay had set the Q7 back by a full year, and there's no word on when the model will now debut.