Audi’s latest concepts might feel familiar, but actually bring a slew of new ideas to maintain sales momentum as the firm enters more new segments than ever.
New shapes of crossovers and hybrids are critical to maintain momentum for the company, which achieved a best-ever 1,455,123 units sold globally in calendar 2013.
Also impressive: Audi is active in 100-plus countries – which is about double the footprint of most luxury brands.
While many tout the success of Lexus and other luxury new-comers, Audi is really the comeback king. There were years in the late 1980s when Audi of America could only sell a few hundred cars, total.
So huge progress on all fronts by Audi over the two decades since their ‘re-boot,’ if you will.
That reboot included a new product mix in the US, with far more emphasis on the mid and compact exec markets versus the 1980s Audi 5000 positioning and S-Class-topping prices.
The interiors and all-wheel-drive traction lured the curious, but it was really the breakout styling overhaul of the 1994 A4 and 1996 A6 that pushed Audi to greatness.
Those smooth good looks have been a pleasure to witness on the highways ever since, with Audi using lighting as a way to update its classic face.
The latest Sport Quattro and now Allroad Shooting Brake show the next step-change in the design evolution for Audi.
Detailing and trims become far more tech-infused, while surfaces hit the classic silhouette marks with flowing, organic-style panel shapes.
The grilles of the e-tron family are very attractive, with turbine-like finishes to many details.
But it is the headlights that will grab the most column inches. Taking the black-frame, deconstructed lighting idea as a base point: Audi’s new lighting is very, very cool.
These lamps appear to be fully three-dimensional, with a sunken clear cover to give them visual depth.
It is cool, and recalls race cars. But boy, it is a bit freaky on first glance!
Even so, if anyone is a trend-setter in headlight style: it is Audi. Look for a lightly refined version of the Sport Quattro’s lighting on upcoming Audi models – starting with the Allroad Shooting Brake concept.
Audi Sport Quattro Design Analysis – Deconstructed Headlight Styles Up-Close