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    Thread: Audi: retro design is "dangerous" & "we'll never do retro"

    1. Senior Member Wimbledon's Avatar
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      07-27-2010 10:12 PM #1
      Autocar

      http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-video/a...autocar-video/



      Quote Originally Posted by Autocar
      Audi design chief Stefan Sielaff has said the firm will never design retro-looking cars, describing such a move as "dangerous".

      Sielaff, speaking to Autocar during our exclusive studio shoot of the new Audi A7 Sportback, described the A7 as "a new niche and a new idea". He said it only referenced classic Audis such as the 100 Coupe with minor details and it was not a retro-inspired car.

      Autocar asked Sielaff about the A7’s design and what to expect from future production Audis.

      See Autocar's exclusive studio pics of the new Audi A7 Sportback

      What are the origins of this car?

      The A7 has been on the go for quite a long time, actually, because the idea was not on a [product] cycle plan. It was created by Walter de’Silva, I would say at least 
five years ago, and if the car is not planned from the very beginning then 
a little bit of time is consumed in convincing everybody that it could be 
an interesting product.

      In any case, we had to the put the A7 on hold for a while because the strategy is a top-down strategy, so first we had to get the new A8 on the market, which happened this year. The next step is the A7, and then the step after this will be 
the A6. There is really a logic in the cycle plan — so the A7 had to wait until the A8 was on the market.

      Is this a design-led project more than a market-led project, then?

      Yes, definitely — as it was with the R8 and, many years ago, the TT. Walter was like one of the dogs looking for truffles, hunting for a new niche and a new 
idea. This is always part of our job as designers: to show things that are not 
in the portfolio.

      Watch Autocar's exclusive video of the Audi A7 Sportback in the studio

      What was the biggest challenge in taking the A7 from concept to production car?

      We have to have pedestrian safety in the front but we wanted a very low, slim nose; that was tough. We also have a really big hatch in the rear; we had to work closely with engineers on the mountings and hinges for that, and also on headroom, and how you enter in the rear of the car.

      The roofline was one of the biggest challenges. On such a big coupé you cannot say, “Okay, it’s fine in the back but only for two little people.” That won’t work. At least you have to have a certain amount of space for two grown-ups. But on the other side, we wanted to have this flowing roofline. We didn’t want a bulge or a bump at the rear hinges.

      And you’ve referenced Audi’s 100 Coupé from 1970 in the rear treatment?

      We only did it with this detail. I’m confident that when you look at the car, you’ll not give us the criticism that “Oh, you did a retro car.” Because this is 
what we really don’t want to do. It’s just 
a nice little game to integrate this idea from the 100 Coupé, and to relate to things in our heritage.

      Can we expect to see more heritage references like this in future Audi models?

      Well, you can reference other cars, as long as you are not over-exaggerating things. For example, the second-generation TT had to look like the TT again, despite the fact that the first TT was an icon. It was difficult enough, but it became possible. Everyone who saw the second-gen car said, “Okay, this is the new TT”, and that was the target.

      But doing retro is a dangerous game, because you will always have the problem that as soon as you have done such a retro car, you have to think of the next generation, and the generation after that. What are you going to do? Because you can’t get out of it. It will always be close to what you have been doing before.


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    2. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      07-27-2010 10:15 PM #2
      In order to do retro- you have to have some iconic designs to fall back to.
      No wonder Audi doesn't want to do retro.
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      07-27-2010 10:15 PM #3
      Ya know, seeing the 100 Coupe right above it makes me warm up to the A7 quite a bit more actually now that I realize where the cues came from.

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      07-27-2010 10:18 PM #4
      I support this decision.

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      07-27-2010 10:24 PM #5
      What do they mean they don't do retro? Everything looks the same outside the R8. Thats pretty retro to me.

      Others use their design cues. Audi just has a couple of designs in different sizes.

      While I agree in many cases its classy and understated outside the R8 and TT (which looks like the last model) everything looks the same. Every time. Every redesign.

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      07-27-2010 10:34 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      In order to do retro- you have to have some iconic designs to fall back to.
      No wonder Audi doesn't want to do retro.


      Eh?
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    7. 07-27-2010 10:38 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by Slipstream View Post


      Eh?
      I don't hate the design, but it's "iconic" to a much smaller group of people than some of the other retro designs (e.g. VW Beetle)
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    8. Member Das Borgen's Avatar
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      07-27-2010 10:38 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Slipstream View Post


      Eh?
      I don t see how the UrQuattro can be modernized without bastardizing it
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      07-27-2010 10:40 PM #9
      Never? I thought the idea of the TT was a bauhaus version of it's classic Auto Union race cars.
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

    10. Senior Member Wimbledon's Avatar
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      07-27-2010 11:52 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Slipstream View Post


      Eh?
      A5, S5, and RS5 carry the torch well without being overly derivative.
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    11. Member mikegilbert's Avatar
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      07-27-2010 11:53 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Slipstream View Post


      Eh?
      x2






      Quote Originally Posted by Das Borgen View Post
      I don t see how the UrQuattro can be modernized without bastardizing it
      That's the Sport Quattro.
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    12. Member KahviVW's Avatar
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      07-28-2010 12:59 AM #12
      Audi won't do retro... yet their current grill design is based on the old Silver Arrows... It's a fine line between retro and inspired. The TT was supposed to represent Bauhaus style that was popular through the 1930's.


      Quote Originally Posted by rich! View Post
      i'd lock this thread but i have no clue how...

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      07-28-2010 01:08 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by cougar View Post
      I don't hate the design, but it's "iconic" to a much smaller group of people than some of the other retro designs (e.g. VW Beetle)
      Like this, b****!



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      07-28-2010 01:14 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by KahviVW View Post
      It's a fine line between retro and inspired.
      That's certainly true. When I think retro, I think mini, camaro, mustang. The whole body, "It's the old car, but new again!" kinda thing.
      Audis that have rear ends that vaguely invoke a something that isn't particularly iconic anyway (I guess that could be different in other areas, but I don't think I've ever seen a audi 100 coupe outside of tcl) don't trip the retro buzzer for me.

      Good for them for not following the "sequel" route to car design. Though I personally wouldn't mind boxy designs coming back in some form, I'm not sure how I'd feel about the next 3 series emulating an e30.

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