Ever since 2007 when we first saw the refreshed A8, a large trapezoidal “Singleframe” grille has been Audi’s trademark. The trend quickly caught on, and these days, Audis are far from the only cars with massive grilles. Take the 2019 Toyota Avalon, for example, which now has a front end that may as well be all grille. But over the next few years, it sounds like Audi plans to abandon big grilles.
In a recent interview with Car Throttle, Andreas Mindt, Audi’s head of exterior design, said he’s done with the Singleframe grille. “It’s not the big mouth anymore,” said Mindt. “It’s not growing growing growing, it’s not like this.”
From the sound of it, Mindt and his design team are still in the process of figuring out what the next generation of Audi grilles will look like, but he has some ideas. “When you paint the frame black, it looks bigger,” he said. “When you paint the frame body color, it looks smaller … there are a lot of things you can do architecture-wise to change that and we have a lot of good ideas for that.”
Then again, Audi could be done with grilles altogether. At least the way we think about them right now. “Maybe the border between grille and no grille will meld together—the frame is not like a border anymore. Just think about what you can do in the future to make it meld together. It would be interesting to see,” he said.
And he’s right. It would be interesting. But will other automakers follow suit? Is the big-grille era finally over? We’ll find out soon enough.