Audi’s designers are taking inspiration from… James Bond | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
The Latest US News & Reviews
USA News
Saturday 9th December

Audi’s designers are taking inspiration from… James Bond

The Audi way is James Bond style, design manager Charles Lefranc tells us. Here’s what he means…

Published: 20 Feb 2023

We’ve learned a lot over the last few weeks about Audi’s ambitious new plans for its future design language, including how its cars will look “softer, more friendly” and why it’s prioritising interiors over exteriors.

Oh, and not forgetting how an internal reveal of the forthcoming, electric RS6 e-tron made a room stuffed with 1,000 VW Group managers go “crazy” with excitement.

Advertisement - Page continues below

But speaking at the reveal of the activesphere concept last month, design manager Charles Lefranc - who works at the Audi Design Studio in Malibu, California - explained there was another unlikely source inspiring the company’s work: James Bond. Yep, as in 007.

“For us when we [talk about] James Bond, it’s the fact that - especially lately - he’s taking all the beating… but then he comes out and is just like, adjusting his tie,” says Lefranc. “He’s fine, you know? It’s natural, everyday.”

So you know that scene in Skyfall when 007 leaps onto the back of a train carriage just as it falls apart, before sticking the landing and straightening his shirt cuffs? Yeah, that. But in a car design.

Gesturing to the activesphere, Lefranc continues: “Even more in the past really, where he never took any beating. But in this case [the activesphere] it’s also the functionality that is sort of hiding, and when it comes out it’s more of a surprise.”

Advertisement - Page continues below

That’d be a reference to the concept’s off-road mode, in which the floor almost literally bares its teeth. Probably easier if we show you, so go check out our video on it.

Bond is of course heavily tied to the Aston Martin brand, so don’t expect to see Q building a double-oh-quattro when Barbara Broccoli has chosen her next lead actor for the franchise…

Top Gear

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

More from Top Gear

See more on Audi

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

Get your first 5 issues for £5