If all you noticed about the Audi crosslane coupe concept revealed last week in Paris was that it was a targa three-door crossover, then you’ve missed a lot actually. During its presentation, Audi brought brand design boss Wolfgang Egger out to emphasize a few things about the car – a move that suggested more of a careful examination than might be required by a typical show stand concept with an outlandish body configuration. Following the car’s reveal, we checked in with Egger and several of his team to get a more detailed explanation of this concept car’s significance to the Audi brand. The resulting conversation revealed a completely new direction for Audi design.
As you might expect, the crossover coupe may herald the next-generation Q3 or perhaps a coupe-like Audi Q2, but the real news here is a significant design shift for a brand that counts design as one of its most defining qualities. Though Egger’s hand can be seen on previous work, the lusty quattro Concept from the last Paris Motor Show comes to mind, this new crosslane coupe defines more than any before it the direction Egger will lead the Audi brand going forward.
I've just uploaded a video showing the light in operation. Those vertical white lights aren't actually striping red like that to the naked eye. They seem to have some resonance with the frame speed of my camera, but they're all white in person. The animated amber though actually shows motion... sort of the same effect (albeit much more slick) of the staged bulb indicators on the back of a Ford Mustang.
Interesting article. Thanks for the great analysis.
Audi's new design protocol reminds me a bit of theorist Frederick Jameson's definition of postmodernism. He wrote about displacement, fragmentation and rupture being indicative of contemporary life.
“ Postmodernism, postmodern consciousness, may then amount to not much more than theorizing it’s own condition of possibility, which consists primarily in the sheer enumeration of changes and modifications. Modernism also thought compulsively about the NEW and tried to watch it’s coming into being, but the postmodern looks for breaks and is more distracted, searching for events rather than new worlds, for the telltale signs after which it is no longer the same; or for shifts and irrevocable changes in the representation of things and the way they change.” FJ
The comparison of Bangle, who dealt with surfaces as decoration and metaphors (motion, speed) and what Audi is now doing is right on target. It's pretty easy to make the case that Bangle was/is all about modernism - reflective of a sort of self-conscious representation of the new - and that Mr. Egger and his team are more in alignment with segmented planar surfaces that highlight function. Neither approach is necessarily "better" than the other- however, Audi's new direction is more in line with the ethos of the world we live in.
Interesting way to look at it. Thanks for your own analysis. I hadn't thought about it that way. Agreed, I don't see Bangle's direction as bad (though I wasn't a fan of many of those era BMWs), but it is decidedly different.