With the Sphere concept, Audi has provided a window into the future of design by looking at how future generations of cars will look. Leading the way will be the next-gen flagship A8 to be released in 2024 which will follow the Grandsphere. More than 20 new cars are slated for release between now and 2026, so Ingolstadt has a busy schedule ahead.
What to expect? Audi design boss Marc Lichte told Upper Equipment Four Rings magazine is working on a “softer, friendlier” design that will be “less aggressive”. He referred to the recently unveiled Activesphere concept as a relevant indicator of a fresh design language: “I don’t think this car struck me as aggressive, quite the opposite. Very soft, very friendly, very…no edge on the exterior design…”
As a refresher, Lichte says Audi will reverse the design process by creating the interior first before drawing the body. he told PTS future models of the new era of EVs will be “softer, friendlier, less aggressive”. Interestingly, one of the driving forces why the German luxury brand is moving away from aggressive designs is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
“One reason is that there is a war not far away [Ukraine] from here, which impacts everyone. To be honest, I don’t like this aggressive style. There are so many more opportunities. That’s why designers generally don’t focus on this aggressive design. That’s my interpretation.”
Audi’s head of design says the switch to a bespoke electric platform gives his team more freedom by not having to account for combustion engines and other greasy parts. The Ingolstadt-based marque will launch its last new ICE-powered car in 2025, with every new model slated from 2026 to be purely electric. By 2033, gasoline and diesel vehicle production will end globally, with the possible exception of China depending on local demand.
One of the new additions to the electric car lineup is believed to be a formidable off-road vehicle to catch up to the Mercedes EQG. If the latest reports are to be believed, it will go on sale as early as 2027 using the same platform as the new Scout SUV and pickup truck due for release in 2026.