“It’s so simple, it’s almost difficult to describe” begins Walter de’ Silva, director general for design for the Volkswagen Group, as he introduces the new A4, presented at Frankfurt this September.

The A4 is the very symbol of Audi’s success over the past ten years, and the third generation of the car strikes a perfect balance in form, substance and size.

“It’s dynamic but not aggressive, sporty but not overstated. I have always believed that surfaces must be given room to breathe, and this car is a tangible demonstration of what this means. It is light and shadow that count, not a mass of lines to give the impression of a complex, intricate design.
Designers today are shedding excessive decoration and affected exaggeration,
there is a return en masse to simplicity and we – who have always believed
in simplicity – are stronger now than ever before.”

Seeing the A4 on the four ringed marque’s stand at the IAA, it’s easy to understand what de’ Silva means.

The car is solid and monolithic, and instantly conveys the safety and reliability
that you’d expect from an Audi. Then as you begin to study the car in more
detail, it reveals more audacious, courageous and even fun sides.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 167

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