Column: Audi! Quo vadis?

At school before:
"He drives at least 220!" - "Whyooo?" - "Well, because there is 240 on the speedometer !.

Today on the highway:
When driving at full speed, you cannot look at the speedometer from outside. But in the face: An Audi A8 would have a high overtaking prestige these days - an untranslatable German word that the Americans envy us for. For example, on the highway, let's say on the A8 🙂 A large, black-faced hexagon is engraved in the rear-view mirror of the person in front. The message: "Get there! 300 HP in aluminum dress demand a clear path! ”The man in front, who then does not use the truck track, is threatened by Ingolstadt arrow slits in the mode“ laser on stunning ”.


At the same time, this situation programs the long-term memory of potential left-hand drivers for the next and all subsequent times "on the track". I. Am Audi! Go away! As I said, an A8 would still “have” a free motorway today, but Audi has literally democratized the design front. What can be welcomed as social progress - left lane for everyone - means to the person in front these days: I am an Audi A8. Or an A6, or ... I could also be an A3.

Uniform look. And because of this uncertainty, many an Astra driver - nothing against the Astra - is unknowingly blocking the left lane: Shocking! Even if Chancellor Merkel wants to pass. Or Federal President Gauck - both evidently every third Tagesschau A8 customers.

Audi is missing a face - Mercedes shows it
Ow! Chancellor and Federal President drive Audi. For the VW premium brand a terrific success and a condition that Dieter Zetsche has to rob sleep. But to the comfort of Stuttgart, dr. Z .: One would never have happened to "the Daimler". In the truest sense of the word: on the face of the new, style-defining C-class be it stated.

The Ingolstadt series are missing distinctive optical elements, the series differences clearly. Unlike Audi, Mercedes presents a design advancement every three years, alternating between the S and the E class since 30. Most recently, the new C and S
Classes a new design style. Even before 20 years, Mercedes had renovated its old chrome-dome: the "plaque cooler" was created.

Even an A3 may and must show: I am an A3!

"OK, a quality car, a better Golf with a driver full of"Ambition”(Special equipment :-). I'll make room for that ”. The ideal person in front may act like this. If it works, it works. But counting “upwards”, an A8 or an upcoming A9 Coupé - pardon “Prologue” - must represent the top of the claim “Vorsprung durch Technik”. Even an A3 has to make way when the top dog arrives. Whether this has twelve ends only on the antlers or a dozen pots under the hood cannot be determined when trying on the A8. Even an A8 Clean Diesel has inherited rights.

Prologue - profile

Instead of making the large Audi distinguishable from the small, the radiator grills with the four rings have for years appeared to be interchangeable. Seriously: do the A3 and A8 grills actually have the same spare part number plus S, M, L and XL? Prologue or retro?

By the way Audi "Prologue", Apart from sharper, offset edges on hinted widened fenders show the Ingolstadt nothing new. Similar to the smaller A5 Coupé (also not exactly a fresh design!), the new study conveys "strong hips" as a connecting design element in the coming time, whose curvature in front of and above the rear axle expresses a certain potency. A steeper cooler joins this masculine element on the hip, best seen on coupes with no annoying backdoors.

Cool cooler? Six corners, black, flat. Known. Gääähn. New is a tangible three-dimensional louvred grill in the hexagon. Marketing copywriters would, of course, say pentahedron - or hexagon 🙂 The verbal erotics in public relations would probably even crave and even write for the term "sculpture". Rightly. The transverse lamellas of the "Prologue", bevelled at the edges, are steeper in the wind (as we know, also because of pedestrian protection). That makes something.

BMW can
However, only viewed from the side, the mask of the upcoming A9 Coupé places a sculpture flowing around it in the airstream. In 2D format - formerly known as a rearview mirror - the “Prologue” still doesn't show a face that sets it apart from A3, A4 & Co. Sorry: No sorry. And this is also the deficient design conclusion: no optical improvement. How to get "more sex" out of an existing front design, BMW has proven with the past 3 Series E 90.

For the facelift in the year 2008 made BMW out of the Cristiano Ronaldo his class a Cristiano in the "wet T-shirt": Apart from the air intake under the license plate, which got a concave (retracted) frame, BMW seemed to have sucked under the hood fat. Former plan, flat and two-dimensional, the flat-lying hood got two sinewy edges in the middle and showed the viewer, so the front man in the rearview mirror: "I'm trained!" Wet shirt.

And the gear department?
With the update of the A6, its hybrid version disappeared. Apparently an A6 four-cylinder - with or without an electric machine - has no traction on the market. Or it is, correct, was too expensive. Ferdinand the Great (Piëch) would have forced this car forced, for image reasons: "The car needs ma, that's image. Expensive, but cheaper than a bad image, "dictated the gasoline engineer with market sense probably warning and quiet as career-relevant for those responsible in the board meeting in the protocol. Not resist talking.

Q7 - front

The new Q7, also with (slightly) cuboid pentahedral mask, 300 Kilo is slimmer. But five years after the also slightly relieved brother VW Touareg or cousin Porsche Cayenne, this information is now unfortunately no longer the big hit - rather specification requirement. Despite all progress: The Q7 diet is not so important in SUV markets outside of Germany.

Fig leaf A3 etron
After all, the Audi A3 etron plug-in lives. Behind the cooler, however, with a technology that connoisseurs - and they read here - rather assign to the creative workshop of Volkswagen. Furthermore, what happens now? - Unintentional, not built, possibly coming R8 etron through the press landscape. Mercedes-AMG built its SLS Electric-Drive. Just a handful, but built. That pays into the image!

Otherwise, customers are waiting for you - also for design reasons Year delayed A4 successor, A technical glimmer of hope is presented in the study RS5 TDI presented three-liter diesel with Tri-Turbo, which carries as the turbine number three an electric charger. Here are opportunities because of the e-turbo (Hello Formula 1, hello Bugatti!) with the necessary 42-Volt-Bordnetz could bring even for increasingly more power consumers on board a technological progress.

RS5 TDI Tri-Turbo

The Audi / Caterham 7 and the F 015

All in all, and with all due respect to Audi's achievements, it will be difficult for the Ingolstadt to show their profile. Motorically, the view is not thin, but not very spectacular (as with other brands). In terms of design, the "Prologue" shows little progress, even if Audi development chief Hackenberg always wants to look ahead just a generation, like him recently proclaimed, Namely what he and Audi will deliver in three years.

Mercedes shows up as less embarrassed and 20 looks years ahead. With the autonomous study F 015 For example, the Swabians show a concept for the time after 2030, while an Audi RS 7 "piloted driving" shows perfection on the circuit, but as a sports car, the criteria 560 PS and self-drivers do not really come together.

Forecast: Soon there will be two types of cars. One for the circuit at the weekend, we call it Audi / Caterham 7 pure. And one for the way to work: Mercedes F 015. Where is the vision for, let's call it "Audi self-driver"?

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