You only have to look at the current Mercedes line-up or that side gill thing spreading through the BMW range to understand that ‘familial’ styling is the order of the day for premium cars. However, some will buck the trend: Audi - a manufacturer often criticised for a ‘Russian doll’ approach to styling - has said that it wants to tread a different path.
“This [familial] design process was used to make Audis more recognisable in newer and emerging markets,” Audi chief exec Rupert Stadler told Autocar. “Now we are well known in major markets like China, we can begin to change this philosophy and give each car its own look,” he added.
The firm has already started to do this with cars like the Q2 (above), which doesn’t just look like a Q3 that’s shrunk in the wash. And that’s a good thing.
Further opportunities for variation will arise thanks to Audi’s foray into fully electric vehicles. Packaging can be much more flexible when a big, bulky engine and all its ancillaries are taken out of the equation, so we can expect things like “shorter overhangs and lower bonnets,” Stadler says.
So, that’s something to sweeten bitter pill that is the inevitable demise of good old-fashioned engine noise…