For years, Audi was the undisputed benchmark in luxury interiors. Now, suddenly it isn’t. What happened?
The automaker still has cars and CUVs with gorgeous interiors laden with rich materials and bristling with advanced technology. It hasn’t taken a step backward. The problem is it has not stepped forward as fast as key competitors.
Over the past 10 years, Audi has been rapidly expanding its product portfolio and the number of segments in which it competes.
At the same time its design resources were being spread over more vehicles, almost every automaker in the world was studying Audi cockpits and doing its best to emulate them.
Meanwhile, some of the German automaker’s star designers were moving on to other automakers, as designers frequently do. In one example, Audi designer Peter Shreyer moved to Kia in 2006 and now heads global design at Kia and.
For well over a decade, Audi has forced automakers to deliver better interior design with lines that flow instead of stack up into jagged intersecting lines that look like a Jenga puzzle. It has emphasized the importance of craftsmanship and used good design to show it off. Audi has led the way in using more natural-looking materials, and it also has been the first to introduce the latest technology to the vehicle cabin, such as Wi-Fi and Google Maps.