Car Design News looks at some of the design stories that may have gone under the radar over the past week. Read on for the latest from Audi, JLR, DS and more…

Welcome to this week’s round-up of car design stories in brief. Whether you actively celebrate Easter or simply enjoy some well-deserved time off, here are the key takeaways you might have missed, including future design strategies, revived trim levels and a dejected farewell to a much-loved supercar. 

End of the line for Audi R8

The last R8 has rolled off the line in Germany, ending a story that began (officially) in 2007. Based on the Le Mans concept car showcased at the Frankfurt auto show in 2003 – created by exterior designer Frank Lamberty and interior designer Jens Sieber, among others – the R8 became an instant icon for the brand. The extroverted sideblades that so defined it were gradually toned down over the years, but each generation stayed largely true to the original design, progressed cautiously in line with modern trends around lighting, sharp lines and digital cockpits. The R8 does not have a direct replacement per se, but its closest relative in the portfolio would be the electric RS e-tron GT – a sedan.  

Lamborghini’s new badge

Every brand goes through a refresh now and again, but it has been some 20 years since Lamborghini updated its raging bull badge. We will not go into the somewhat fluffy mindset behind this, but it does come at a time when the brand is in flux with EVs and SUVs now part of the mix. Other brands have made similar changes: Audi updated its badge in November 2022, and Dacia recently showed its new chunky logo on the Spring.

Full release here.

Land Rover Defender Octa

A feisty new V8 Defender will be on offer at some point in 2024. The ‘Octa’ edition will showcase a new diamond-inspired graphic planned for all flagship Defender models in future. The name is derived from the octahedron shape of a diamond, inherently a sign of luxury but also the hardest naturally occurring substance on Earth.

Full release here

Citroen’s crossover for India, South America

The Basalt Vision concept previews a compact SUV Coupé that will go on sale in 2024 in India and South America. Citroen says the renders released this week are ”faithful to the model that will hit the streets.”

Full release here

Citroen Basalt Vision R3Q

The Citroen Basalt Vision concept 

Genesis Magma and Neolum

Genesis has shown two very different concepts in the suave Neolun SUV and the GV60 ‘Magma’, which hints at upcoming performance variants for the brand. We may see more from Genesis next month at the appropriately named Car Design Event in Munich.

Full release here

McLaren outlines future design strategy

Earlier this week McLaren held a presentation to showcase the future design direction of the brand. Spearheaded by chief design officer Tobias Sühlmann, who joined in April last year from Bentley, the strategy will be defined by five core principles all drawing on the heritage of racing and speed: Epic, Athletic, Functional, Focussed, Intelligent. 

Full release here.

Fisker on the ropes?

Stories of a potential partnership with Nissan have not materialised, and additional funding does not seem on the way. At face value, it does not look great for the brand on its second stint in the industry. We had the Fisker Ocean in the CDN car park not long ago and it is a nicely designed SUV, albeit a little buggy in the cockpit. Knowing Henrik, he won’t give up easily.

2022 Fisker Ocean - ext side (desert)

The 2022 Fisker Ocean; prices have reportedly dropped to around US$25,000 

DS revives Pallas nameplate

The Pallas name was introduced in 1964 with the iconic DS model and is making a return as part of a new range, beginning with the the DS 4, in April. Another designation, Étoile, will also be introduced for top of the range models. 

Full release here

Bridge of Weir releases ’deforestation free’ leather

“Deforestation-free leather is not just a legislative requirement but a moral imperative,” the supplier says. As such, it has committed to comply with European regulations that prohibit the import of commodities that originate from recently deforested land or have contributed to forest degradation. Head of design Debra Choong spoke to us recently about what Bridge of Weir is working on during a visit to its site in Warwick, UK. 

Full release here

Debra Choong Bridge of Weir 1

Bridge of Weir’s head of design, Debra Choong