Achim Badstubner led the design creation of Audi's 2005 A6 sedan, the first in a series of new Audis that will share a bold and controversial new face, even including the upcoming updated TT sportster. We asked him why he put such a prominent schnoz on what is otherwise a handsome reinterpretation of classically clean Audi style.
"A premium car is recognized by its face. This is about overtaking prestige on the autobahn. If you see this face in the mirror, you pull over quick.
"This will definitely be a family face. If you are a premium brand, you need some key features where the customer can see he belongs to the family. The single-frame grille will be one of those features. And the surface and line treatments are revolutionary for us, much more emotional and passionate, not as static as the car before.
"If you do something new, there's always a risk that some won't like it. But we are very sure that most of our customers like a strong, self-confident face, and that's what we have now. Audi always progresses. We don't stand still. If you want to lead, you have to lead in some direction, and that's what we did. It communicates the power and sportiness of the car.
"It needs a lot of time, sweat, and tears to finally create a car that shows vision on the street. If you see that vision in the car, then we've achieved it. This is the first car communicating a new design language for Audi, the first car showing more emotion in our product, and it adds more value to the brand.
"It's very important that if you remove the Audi rings, people will know what it is."