[Biturbos4] Re: More pics of the new RS4

John M. Harrison johnmh at uwyo.edu
Mon Feb 28 10:50:22 EST 2005

I can't help but post this diatribe on recent Audi (and other) styling 
.  Apologies - I couldn't resist.

I tend to agree with mrdezign.  The new Audi grillage appears to be a 
concession to the retro styling that permeates so much design these 
days.  Audi is certainly not the only manufacturer whose designers focus 
on the grill and are tending to go to a "retro" kind of look.  BMWs have 
always had ugly and old-fashioned, but very identifyable grill details.  
In Beamers and other makes the grill is purposely used as a sort of 
iconographic make/model identifier.  For Audi, the new S4 grillage seems 
a departure from past designs, thus doesn't function to aid 
recognizability or brand identity.  But it definitely looks old 
fashioned, which I don't care for.  And I see they have used the grill 
shape even in the steering wheel.  This is all thematic stylistic excess 
to me.

I love my 2001.5  S4 Avant precisely because it lacks or at least 
de-emphasizes this sort of thematic stylistic affectation.  I recommend 
Audi rethink the "retro" approach and stick with the notion of skinning 
the vehicle in a maximally aerodynamic and functional way.  Stuff that 
doesn't function should be omitted.  Chrome should be omitted due to the 
glare factor.  Wood or fake wood grain should be omitted.  Just as in 
good modern architecture and industrial design, affectations and details 
are removed wherever possible.  Simple, clean, ergonomic, functional and 
understated is my preference.  This is what caught my eye about late 90s 
and early 2000s Audis that prompted me to look at a new car for the 
first time in more than 20 years. This along with lots of power and 
torque, permanently engaged highway all-wheel drive and superb handling 
attracted me.

I'm told much of the aesthetic styling design for many of the world's 
automobiles occurs in California these days.  Perhaps it is time for 
this to change.  The German Bauhaus school and modern tradition need to 
be re-learned and incorporated into cars for the future.  Audi needs to 
stick to the integrity of the modern design tradition and leave the 
retro crap for the American and California designers whose taste is all 
in their mouths.  I don't see the fine German vehicles grabbing market 
share from the likes of Harley Davidson, Chrysler, Ford, GM, John Deere, 
Caterpillar, etc. just by incorporating puke ugly grillage on otherwise 
nice cars.  They shouldn't even try.  They risk loosing their core loyal 
customer base with this sort of silliness.

Having said all this, I do like the looks of the A3 which we will 
apparently see in the US next year - except for the grill which has this 
same vertically-oriented look from the past.  That's another thing - 
these newer S4s are too big.  The B5s are a nice compact car design, but 
subsequent models have blimped up.  This seems to be a common tendancy.  
I'm wondering if there will be an S3 and/or RS3?

Cheers and happy motoring.

John M. Harrison
Laramie, WY
2001.5 Audi S4 Avant silver 6 speed loaded stock simple, beautiful and a 
joy to drive

mrdezign at netscape.net wrote:

>Please forgive the excuse the following. Sorry, but I can't hold it back. 
>Good thing you can't see the grille from the driver's seat. It's enough to make you car sick. Look's like the old Edsel "horse collar" on steroids with a fat piece of electrician's tape through the middle. At least Audi chose to cover some of it from view. It's HIDEOUS! 
>Kneale Brownson <knotnook at traverse.com> wrote:
>>That's the best version of the overblown "grille" I've seen.
>>>Looks fantastic to me!
>>>Ti Kan
>>>Vorsprung durch Technik
>>>quattro mailing list
>>>quattro at audifans.com
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>>Biturbos4 at www.audifans.com
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