By on November 30, 2010

Well, now we know why Audi let VW have its trademark LED headlight “mascara”… it had even crazier headlights warming up in the bullpen. Here they are attached to some car that will reportedly be sold as the next Audi A6.

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41 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Lights Out Edition...”


  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    If stylists can get their fulfillment via crazy light designs and let go of their obsession with high cowls and big wheels, that would be a good trend.

  • avatar
    Lexingtonian

    That dashboard is… strikingly similar to current BMW dashboards.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      The area right in front of the gear selector looks a little similar if you squint, but that’s about it.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      On first glance I too thought ‘wow, that looks a lot like a BMW interior’.  Maybe when you compare it piece by piece most aren’t identical, but the overall effect is certainly reminiscent of BMW.
       
      I absolutely love the new Audi multi-layered wood though.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      x2, NulloModo – that layered wood look is gorgeous. Apparently it is a delayed introduction, however, because Audi is having problems with the manufacture of that layered wood.
       
      The new interior is really nice. Very distinct from the previous language, which in itself was not bad at all.

    • 0 avatar
      fredtal

      That’s okay I heard BMW is redesigning their dashboards to be more like Audis

  • avatar
    mrh1965

    Love the Audi’s but never been crazy about those LED DRLs.
     
    What is being pointed to on the front grille?  Machine gun? Flame thrower?
     
     

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    something really, awfully wrong with this direction.

    Is Clark W. Griswold the head of design now?

  • avatar
    zznalg

    I like some of the tail light treatments but the headlights give me nausea. I mean, how much bling is too much bling? The current LED treatment is already turning me away from Audi.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      If you’re actually making purchase decisions based on headlight design, you’ve just made the marketing and accounting folks very happy. You’ve finally helped them prove that customers aren’t really concerned with engine power and smoothness, handling dynamics, interior ergonomics and all that other stuff the engineers keep insisting is important. It really is all about pretty headlights and covering the engine with a big black plastic shield so you don’t see any messy looking hoses and wires.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Silvy,
       
      BMW has already proven that its customers don’t know which wheels move the car, and is planning a line of front wheel drive cars to take advantage of this ignorance, so why not let Audi have fancy headlights to attract people who like shiny things?

    • 0 avatar
      frizzlefry

      I don’t think that Audi attracts the same ignorant badge snobs that BMW (supposedly) does. In defence of BMW, it’s a great driver’s car and all people I know who have one know exactly what its driving specs are. Now, almost being run over in a crosswalk for the 5th time this week today by a minivan, I don’t know where the hate for German cars comes from. I cannot, honestly, think of a single time where an Audi or Bimmer tried to kill me. TONS of minivans, a boatload of Pontiacs and almost every time a Lexus does, well, anything….I have had to hit the brakes and swerve or run for my life.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    I’m a big Audi fanboy and I like the pissed off look this thing has. But I don’t like how much of it looks like a big A4. I like the design of the A4 but this is not an A4, its an A6 and should look as such. I like the current LEDs they use on the headlights as they are a straight line. Looks statelier.

  • avatar
    MBella

    Now are these actual LED headlights where the LEDs light up the road. I don’t see any room for a Halogen or HID bulb in that assembly.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    I can appreciate the technology and functionality of LED lighting, but I’m not on board with the cluster aesthetic.
    Can’t the styling department disguise the monstrous look of these automotive compound-eyes?

  • avatar
    Tosh

    Where is the instrument panel-mounted video vanity screen that shows me live video of myself and how cool and important I look in my new car with these cute lights that I can turn on and off all by myself with one of these buttons?

  • avatar
    Ron

    I didn’t think it was possible. Audi has made the “Billy the big-mouth bass” grill even uglier.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    I like it. If they can make an effective light pattern without blinding oncoming drivers and have the bulb life that LEDs can offer over other types of bulbs (something of a weakness for VAG cars) more power to them.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Very interesting. If these pictures are indeed correct, that would mean that the A6 interior is largely identical to the A7, ala A4 and A5. That’s good news, the A7 interior is stunning.
     
    For those of you turned off by the full LED headlight treatment, don’t worry, it will be an option, as on the A8. The standard A8 headlights are quite normal looking, with the current LED strip that Audi uses. You can also enjoy paying for new Xenon bulbs, while the LEDs will last the life of the car.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    I think that Audi has done a nice job evolving their front end design. I’m partial to the angry look of the new A7 and A6. That said, I think that the A6, apart from the front, looks rather bland and like a warmed over and tweaked A4, similar to my thoughts on the new A8.  I think the problem is the rear treatment that Audi has given the new A6 and A8 – it’s a bit too slab-drab looking.
    That said, the new A7 is definitely the hot way to go. Clearly what Audi is trying to do is to give the cement salesmen (as Clarkson calls Audi buyers) their traditional boring German luxo-barge in the A6 and A8, but to spice things up a bit with the A7 straddling the middle between the two.  I think it might just work because between the 6, 7 and 8 I’d definitely take the 7.

    • 0 avatar
      Thinx

      hreardon says: I’m partial to the angry look of the new A7 and A6
       
      What is an “angry look” on a car, and why should a car look angry?  I have come across a few others who referred to a car or truck looking “angry” – so I am curious to understand what the appeal of this is.  Do people really like to project this sort of thing on the road?  It sounds a bit like an outlet for frustration over some other inadequacy.
      (not directed at hreardon, per se – it is just that his comment triggered a train of thought)

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Thinx,
      The “angry look” is more the downward angled headlamp design that gives the car a bit of a surly look.
      Compare that to, say, the Mazda 3 or 6, which are much more flow-y and softer looking around the front.  The Audi looks like it means business, the Mazda wants to be your friend.
      Personally, I think the scowl adds a lot of presence to the car.  Just a matter of personal preference, I suppose.

    • 0 avatar
      Thinx

      Yeah, I see what you mean by the ‘surly’ look.  I still don’t quite get why this is a good thing – what’s the point of just looking surly all the time when there isn’t anything to be surly about… :-)  I guess in some way it conveys intimidation or aggression – both of which appear to be replacing common courtesy as the preferred social dynamic on the roads these days.
       
      To me, both the Dodge Charger’s anti-social scowl and the Mazda’s village-idiot rictus seem a little cartoonish.
       
      Personally, I prefer the ‘presence’ of a 1985 Mercedes coupe (http://www.luxcars.com/vImages/V55946.jpg) or something along those lines, which is more understated and dignified.  But like you said, it is all personal preference.

  • avatar
    James2

    Audi is in a rut, design-wise. I defy anyone other than an Audi fanboi to distinguish an A4 from an A6 from an A8, especially over the last 4-5 years or so. The basic sheetmetal is boring; all the stupid LED lights in the world cannot save it.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      James2 –
      Actually, the previous generation 4, 6 and 8 had pretty distinct looks: the A8 had a very slab-sided look to it, the A6 was very rounded and the A4 was…well, the B7 A4 never really did much for me, it was just there.
      That said, the new generation 4, 6, and 8 do look a lot more similar, I agree.  But that isn’t to say others aren’t doing the same. Put a new BMW 5 and 7 next to each other and they are from the identical “same sausage, different length” school of manufacturing.  The upcoming redesign of the 3-series will join the ranks.
      Frankly, I think it’s partially a response to necessary economies of scale which inhibit some of the design language.  But I also think it’s partially due to the conservative design school that most German manufacturers follow. As a result the family resemblance is very evident and it doesn’t turn anyone off. I think that the goal with these new platform cars is to be able to offer variants (ala the A7 and A5 Sportback) very cost effectively, and that these variants will add significant visual distinction so as to draw buyers turned off by the otherwise bland looks of the staple 4, 6, and 8.

  • avatar
    sfdennis1

    Not impressed…overly complex headlight and taillight assemblies combined with an almost non-existent exterior update. How about simpler lights, and actually make some noticeable changes to the bland slab sides and upside-down bathtub profile?

    As per Audi’s usual, the interior is sharp and stylish, but the ‘same old/same old’ exterior stying is getting tired fast….how about a new design direction, or at least kick up the drama factor a bit…as is, it looks like a Hyundai Sonata that has had an iron taken to it to smooth out the wrinkles, aka boring.

  • avatar
    drifter

    LED lamps on Audi are as classy as fart cans on Civics

  • avatar
    Kristjan Ambroz

    Another opportunity missed. I agree that it will be difficult to distinguish this from an A4 or A8 on the road (from a distance, where size is not that apparent), which is a bit wrong, really. No wonder Walter da Silva is designing leica cameras, not like he is doing anything at Audi.
    On the other hand I have to say I still massively prefer this to the A7 – having seen one on the road the other day almost made me retch, I thought I saw a mirage of a facelifted Ssangyong or something. The proportions are all wrong, it just looks bloated and pregnant. Not at all a fan of the 5GT but at least it looks a bit more coherent. In comparison to this the saloon and A5 designs are positively marvelous (well, if you take the aircraft carrier front overhang out) but one would certainly expect more from the designer of the Alfa 156.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Actually Kristjan, da Silva no longer works for Audi exclusively, he’s the head of Volkswagen Group design. My armchair quarterbacking says that this probably means he gives broad definition to the brand designers and final sign-off on proposals, but little in the way of specific design work himself.
      Another thing for everyone to keep in mind is this: Remember all of the howls of disgust over the previous generation 5-Series, followed by howls of disgust over how bland and derivative the current 5-series is now?
      It proves the point that you can’t make everyone happy…especially on car forums. ;-)

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    The thing that will annoy me the most is that every time I meet one of these, I will think, ‘wow, an A5’ , but then when it comes closer (like I do when I meet an a4)it’s all ‘F***, it’s one of those slab sided ******A4/A6’s….
    The A5 will probably stand long as a milestone of beaty for Audi…

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    I’m not sure how many mindless drone E350 buyers Audi is going to be able to steal away with this car, but I think Audi fans will be very pleased, and I’m sure it will be a hit in Germany and China.
     
    BMW fans may want to take note that the new 5 is heavier, duller, and slower than its predecessor. The new A6 is lighter, sharper, and faster than its predecessor. Which trend would you consider to be positive?

  • avatar
    shaker

    I thought that nothing could be more distracting and annoying than HID lights, now the multi-pinpoint bright eyeliner LED option is available.
    The only solace that I have is the thought that when I’m being tailgated by one of these mini-marquees, that a quick stab of my brakes would temporarily blind the spider-eyed beast while I make my getaway.

  • avatar

    I just saw a side-by-side comparison of the new A6 and the BMW 5 series and I have to say they are very alike from the side on view. You can see Audi have tried to create a valid competitor to the 5 series with this release.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      There is a difference: the new 5 series is 400 pound heavier than the last model while the new A6 is nearly 200 pounds lighter than the previous generation. LED lights or not, but to me Audi is moving in the right direction and BMW is not.

  • avatar
    Kristjan Ambroz

    hreardon,
    agree that it is difficult to make everyone happy (primarily at car forums) and you are of course perfectly right that he is probably more giving the general direction rather than doing specific designs.
    At the end of the day his success will be judged to some extent by his peers – and in that forum he has probably already had some success – as well as how well the cars designed under his aegis sold. For this the bland styling is probably not a bad direction.
    My beef with it is a bit personal, I find it simply a waste of talent to do the same sausage, different size approach, especially for Audi. I find that none of the current generation of Audis (with the exception of the A7 – but tastes are personal, I agree) are really ugly, just too undifferentiated. Whether that is a bad thing probably lies in the eye of the beholder…

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