The successor to the A2 – Audi’s baby – needed to fill a gap in the marque’s revised range has yet to take shape, so why not ask a group of promising design students to come up with a few creative ideas? Fresh ideas, which fit seamlessly into the four-ringed brand’s new styling philosophy, a philosophy that has now been further defined with the recent launch of the new A5.

These were the precepts for the MAX4 project, which started last October, continuing the collaboration – now in its third year – masterminded by Walter de’ Silva between the Audi Group and the Milan Design Polytechnic (SPD), directed by Antonello Fusetti.

The brief given to the students of the Master’s course in Transportation Design imposed a number of conditions and constraints, among which: to create an entry level but premium product, to remain within a maximum length of four metres and comply with the brand’s new styling language, to target a young, cosmopolitan and dynamic demographic living in an urban environment and to define a lifestyle associated with the car.

Seven final models were produced by the eleven students from Italy, Poland, Turkey, Hungary, Mexico and New Zealand taking part in the project supervised by Master’s course coordinator Marco Bonetto together with lecturers Alessandro Maccolini and Mario Favilla, with the support of a team of professionals including Gary Telaak, Ingo Von Bargen and Satoshi Wada from the Audi Style Centre in Ingolstadt.

The next academic year for the Master’s course in Transportation Design at SPD begins this October, with a new curriculum open to a limited number of students organised in collaboration with Alfa Romeo.

Applicants must have previous experience in car design and be strongly motivated to commit a full year to honing their design skills and professional methods such as sketching, Alias and clay modelling. Study grants will also be awarded to the eight most interesting portfolios. For detailed information and regulations, see the website or email [email protected]

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 166

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