What has happened to Audi design?


(Single)Framing the rise and decline of design kings, Audi. Design critic Wayne Batty is unconvinced by the Bauhaus aspirations of the German marque’s ’Sphere series

In the context of global pandemics and unprovoked invasions, crimes of style are of little importance. That doesn’t mean they’re not happening. Elantra, Cybertruck, [BMW] XM, please stand up. The latest release to get my keyboard furiously clacking, though for vastly different reasons, is what Audi calls: urbansphere. Basically, it’s a battery-powered, level 4 autonomous, private jet fuselage-shaped four-seater designed to navigate a Chinese megacity. It’s the third concept in the company’s ’sphere series and is by far the largest. In fact, at 5.5 metres long, almost 1.8m high and more than 2 m wide, it’s the largest Audi ever conceived. The company’s marketers call these proportions ‘stately’ – they’re not wrong. If it doesn’t appear all that large to you, please note, these are 24-inch rims.

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