VW has failed to achieve the planned volume growth in the US that was required for the total group to meet its global objectives. Not so Audi. The premium sister brand has been growing from strength to strength – and for good reason. The Audi products still have the interiors that everyone benchmarks and the exteriors continue that “machined from the solid” look that is hard to beat.
The new S8 sedan on the front corner of the stand looked suitably menacing, with the now even larger grill clearly designed to strike fear in your rear view mirror on the autobahn! The S7 looks really good too.
The new A3 was introduced at the show and displayed in both sedan and cabrio form. Execution of these vehicles is exactly what we have come to expect from Audi with tight crisp lines and simple elegant forms. Also shown was the Q3 model that will enter the increasingly competitive premium compact SUV segment, along with the Porsche Macan, the MB GLA and the Lincoln MK C.
The E-Tron 2 door “Quattro shooting brake” concept PHEV that was also on display is expected to join the Audi family of vehicles in 2015. This will be a cool addition.
More than anything the new E-Tron concept is introducing the silhouette (up to the front door…) of the TT Mk III that will probably be introduced at the Geneva show. The interior was introduced at the CES in Las Vegas, earlier in the month. The design is very close to what the cockpit of the TT will be…lets say that if the first TT is a Design Icon; the Mk II was “just” a nice looking car; the Mk III will certainly be seen as a revolution for its interior… The cluster integrates fully digital instruments and displays all information directly in front of the driver. You can tune it up virtually the way you want with two display modes. The first one is a classic view where you see the speedometer and rev counter in front of you like a physical cluster. In the “infotainement” mode, the virtual instruments are smaller and the space that is then created offers a huge display area for your media info or map. The navigation map in 3D is right in front of you! The instrument panel is then reduced to its minimum and the design visually conveys the Audi lightweight construction principle. Designers got the freedom to rethink the whole interior, reducing the number of buttons here, removing the central screen there…In order to visually simplify the cockpit. The controls for the air conditioning are also housed in the vents – the adjustment functions for seat heating, and for the temperature, direction and strength of the air flow are located in their axes, with small displays indicating the chosen setting.
As the first TT became an Icon, no doubt that the Mk III will set up a new standard, at least for interior…But let’s see how they will design the rear part of the exterior…We can’t wait for Geneva…