Audi A4: missed opportunity? [w/ poll]

I usually don’t like to engage in speculation about what could have been, but I recently came across two renderings of Audi A5 sedan and Avant that got me wondering: how much more attractive the uber-conservative new Audi A4 could have been if the brands’s designers had been given a free hand?

The renderings come courtesy of two great design pages: THEOPHILUSCHIN (sedan) and X-Tomi Design (Avant). Both are based on the Audi A5 coupe, and attracted my attention because they show just how much more dynamic and, arguably, attractive the Audi A4 sedan could have looked. The changes to the base A4 are not huge, but employing the A5’s swanky side crease that gently bulges over the fender and a swoopy “undercut” in the door design really brings the A4’s side alive, while the front clip gives it a nice aggression that’s missing from the standard sedan.

What I really wonder is this, though: why did Audi style the final A4 sedan the way it did? Was it purposefully trying to be uber-conservative to appeal to a certain audience? Did the designes hold back the best tricks for the A5 coupe, in order to differentiate it from the sedan and give it more swagger? Or is it a matter of design direction, with the A4’s design being frozen before the arrival of Marc Lichte, while the A5 was able to benefit from his new vision?

Audi A4 sedan

So, what do you think of the alternative designs? Let us know in the poll and comments below:

Are the alternative Audi A4 renderings an improvement?

View Results

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  1. Audi needs to apply a lot more changes to its design than this to stimulate my senses. They should use the clean-sheet approach which was mentioned by you regarding the Mercedes GLS. Now most Audis are combinations of different cars and such an approach usually results into incoherent designs. Although, looking at the Q2 I really believe they’re just not capable of sketching and designing.

  2. “Yes, they’re an improvement, but they’re still kind of boring”
    I voted this option but you should’ve had one of I prefer the A4 design to the A5 even if I consider both boring.

    But this issue extends to almost all the brands of the VW group. And people don’t care as long as the cars are reliable.

  3. The reasons to buy a car are very different. I personally know person who bought a car from the nearest dealer (it was a Peugeot in that case), because he wanted to have the service close to him. This was the main argument.

    For other: costs. For others: “Prestige”. For others: driving fun and performance.

    But most of the people doesn’t really care about the design. it is enough if car is not ugly. Boring is easily acceptable. Most people eat potatoes 🙂

    More to say “boring” is never ugly. So it is “safe”.

    1. “I personally know person who bought a car from the nearest dealer (it was a Peugeot in that case), because he wanted to have the service close to him. This was the main argument.”

      This is the most important thing when you buy french car… 🙂 lol

      1. I knew that you would say that 🙂 He had 307 (the selfburning version) and wasn’t really satisfied.

        But there is a clear correlation with sales results and geo-localisation of dealers.

        P.S. @Bazooka You haven’t offended me! WOW! Do we make a progress??

  4. People who buy premium cars, need other people know it. Due of this, the design is always strongly linked with past models, to protect the identity. All the people can identify any Audi as an Audi from last 20-25 years. This is the key for many costumers. And due of this, the depreciation of the car is less than others, because always will have the brand value.

    Yes, Audi is a boring looking car, but is a success too. Audi knows that’s what consumers likes.

  5. It’s seems that the concerns expressed in the article published in 2016 were valid : the latest A4 model sales volume are quite disappointing, customers are looking for more innovative designs such as the ones offered by Mercedes, Volvo, etc… which combines brand heritage with still radical evolutions, what is missing to VW brands

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