Your next Audi will look “softer, more friendly” | Top Gear
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Your next Audi will look “softer, more friendly”

Yup, Audi’s done with aggressive-looking cars. Cue waves of friendly tailgater gags

Published: 13 Feb 2023

Future Audis will be “softer, more friendly” and “less aggressive” according to its design boss Marc Lichte, who is overseeing a whole new look for the company’s future cars.

Lichte’s already explained to TG that he’s commanding “a 180-degree turn” in which interior design will take priority over exterior design, but also says that aggressive styling will become a thing of the past as well.

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“I think it’s a good example,” he tells us, gesturing to the Audi activesphere concept. “I think this car I would say is not aggressive, it’s the opposite. It’s very soft, very friendly, very… there’s no edge on the exterior design.

“Okay, there’s a lower layer which is really rugged, but we want to visualise this, no? I see, in general, car design will become more friendly. At Audi definitely. But I see this as a trend in general. Softer, more friendly, less aggressive.”

And why is that, exactly? Car reviews - especially of facelifts - are awash with references to designs getting ‘more aggressive’ as designers seek to inject life into their vehicles. What’s changing?

“One reason is there is a war not far away [Ukraine] from here, which has an impact on everybody,” he says. “It’s one reason, I can imagine.

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“The second reason is that the potential with this EV platform, especially automated driving, gives up so many opportunities to come up with something different.

“In the past there was always a combustion engine, and then there was a platform. Everything was fixed. And as a designer you thought ‘How can I differentiate from competitors?’

“I don’t like this aggressive styling, honestly speaking. There are so many more opportunities. That’s why designers in general are not focusing on this aggressive design. That’s my interpretation.”

Interesting. Wonder what that means for the forthcoming, wider, bigger-wheeled RS6 e-tron?

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