Audi's Automotive Design Process...

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Technology is constantly evolving and individual's needs and wants are changing: transitioning to e-mobility, automated driving and further digitalisation to reconfigure automobile design.

A technological shift is revolutionising vehicle design

Audi is well known for its design and it is the core selling point for the brand. The original design had a bulky combustion engine in the front of the vehicle, which shapes the vehicle's body. The interior was functional and high quality – a control centre, compact and subdivided by the centre tunnel and control elements. Audi is known to have comfortable seats for long distance travelling and a sufficient amount of luggage space.

The car of tomorrow: compact electric vehicles with the battery undeath the body. The interior, in the future, will drive fully or partly automatically and steering wheels and pedals could possibly disappear.

Audi Design head Marc Lichte asks the critical question: “What demands are users making of us? Do they want to be able to work in the car, read, or sleep? What purpose are we designing the car for? Long distances? Cities? Leisure? What does the appropriate interior need to look like for that?”


How do the Design Studios around the world work together?

Audi has 450 designers from 25 nations who focus on developing creative ideas. Beijing, Malibu and Ingolstadt studios form the germ cells for the models of tomorrow – refine visions, designs and prototypes. The Design Centre in Ingolstadt supports fast and integrative work and design processes between the design, model making, and technology. Large-scale LED walls and modelling spaces with milling machines stand right next to each other and make it possible to directly compare 3-D models with reference models. Each studio is competing against each other to come up with the best designs - colleagues change locations regularly to improve and learn from each other.

How does an idea become reality?

The completed digital data sets from the Beijing and Malibu locations are transferred directly to the Design Centre in Ingolstadt, where they are milled with milling machines to clay models at the desired scale. Despite the digital design development, a physical exhibit remains an essential part of the decision-making process at Audi. The designers check the proportions from various distances in order to get consistency. “Nothing can replace the feeling of standing in front of a model in reality,” says lead engineer Weber.

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