Electric powertrains will shape future Audi designs

Audi says its vehicle lineup will shed its current homogeneous look in the coming years as the company rolls out more electric cars and crossovers.

The brand's design boss, Mark Lichte, told the UK's Autocar that we'll begin to see Audi's designers branch out following the 2019 launch of a production version of the e-tron quattro crossover, because an EV's more compact powertrain means more flexibility where a vehicle's proportions are concerned.

“Design will go in a very different way,” Lichte continued. “[Designers] will have more material space to play with, so we’ll be able to produce [vehicles with] shorter overhangs and lower bonnets. It makes for a more attractive design overall.”

Audi's downmarket corporate cousins at VW are already pondering the possibilities electric vehicles will present in mulling making the next-generation Beetle a rear-driver, just like the original was.

As far as the look of the company's present lineup is concerned, if you're annoyed that you can't tell a 2018 Audi A6 apart from a 2018 Audi A8, blame China: Audi CEO Rupert Stadler says the cookie-cutter styling approach was conceived to help the brand establish a presence in that emerging market. But with that task complete, he says it's time to "give each car its own look."

Amping up design freedom 1/2/2018 3:53:44 PM