Audi has previewed its new styling direction. It looks a lot like the old styling direction.
Based on the cumulative reaction to Audi’s new design direction embodied by the recent Prologue concept, Marc Lichte and his designers may have considerably more work to do if Audi is not to become viewed as creatively becalmed.
Of course the massed ranks of self appointed website and social media commentators are hardly an infallible guide to taste or informed criticism, but when a massed chorus of uninformed opinion suggests that its merely the same wine in a slightly re-profiled bottle, it doesn’t really matter how much you point out the devil in the detail. Nobody’s listening.
The problem Lichte faces is that restraint simply doesn’t wash with the social media generation. Emotion is their currency, and the more so the better. While many regard the current fad of expressive styling something of a vulgar fad, the public think otherwise and they my friends, are trending. Their gravitational centre now pivots upon the star of Sindelfingen.
Because in spite of the questionable aesthetics emanating from Gorden Wagener’s dream factory, the collective automotive fan base are as one in their admiration and outright desire. The current S-Class, its new coupé sibling and the 2-seater AMG-GT have each been lauded as the ACME of autoerotica, despite an overwrought and wilfully baroque appearance, within and without. So say what you like about the Gorden, he’s very successful with the Car-Chat crowd.
With Mercedes’ emo-cars selling like gangbusters, and a largely unimpressed comentariat metaphorically biting their ankles, Audi’s design team may well find themselves tasked with ladling a little more expression into the forthcoming cars’ styling before production versions see the Lichte of day.