If you’re an honest person, you’ll admit to — at least for a fleeting moment — confusing an Audi Q7 with a Q5, or an A6 with and A7, at least from a distance. There’s having a common design language for a brand, and then there’s cloning the same design for every model. Audi has become a master of the second method. Thankfully, that might change.
Rupert Stadler, chief executive for Audi, recently sat down with Autocar and talked about the brand’s designs. He claimed that the whole reason for using essentially the same design for all the cars and crossovers was to make the brand as a whole easier to distinguish in “new and emerging markets.” You’re totally allowed to roll your eyes now.
I’m pretty sure other brands do well in such markets, even if they’ve had to build up awareness, but whatever. The good news is that Marc Litche said in the same interview that the company realizes it’s in “a place for more differentiation now.” We’d all greatly appreciate that, really.
The one risk is that Audi will do something crazy to shake things up, like Cadillac’s transformation about 15 years ago. Modern Audis certainly aren’t ugly, but some individual design for each model would be great. Think the Germans can pull it off?