An overview of the current sparkling array of Audi Brand Group products, starting with the leading player himself, director of design Walter De’ Silva. The cover story of issue 147 of A&D leads us through four features, three of which are dedicated entirely to the latest production and research news recently presented by Audi, Seat and Lamborghini.

In a conversation with Fabio Galvano, Walter De’ Silva summarises the work and identity of each of the three brands, which are constantly evolving and being updated in the context of an interpretation of the sporting theme which ranges from the elegant, to the unconventional to the extreme, depending on the brand.

The following pages feature the big new saloon from the brand with the rings, “the first Audi which conveys our company’s future design approach”, states Achim Badstübner, who is in charge of exterior design. “The A6 is a completely new car, which is recognisably Audi even without a brand logo or emblem. After the generic design phase of the Eighties, and the subsequent design elements worked in during the Nineties, all Audi creations from now on will feature a confident sporting character. But I should underline that the A3, A4, A6 and A8 will not be design copies, like Russian dolls: each model will have its own character”.

Meanwhile Silvia Baruffaldi explores the design story of another of the Group’s models with a lot of character, following its presentation at the Madrid Motor Show in May. This is the Seat Toledo Prototype: a concept which is extremely close to the final version due to be launched in the coming months, and which has surprised and fascinated the public due to its unusual tail and bizarre two-tone paintwork. The basis for the new Toledo is the MPV Altea, forerunner of the Spanish brand’s new design look.

To round off this snapshot of the German group’s design work is another new creation. Set to hit the roads Stateside in the autumn, and in Europe at the beginning of 2005, is the Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster. Luc Donckerwolke, on the occasion of the opening of the Style Centre in Sant’Agata Bolognese, takes us through the work which led to this new uncompromising model, an extreme interpretation of the spirit of the brand, after six years of German ownership.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 147

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