words: George Achorn, photo: SEESTRASSE7
In a style and technology driven company such as Audi, it perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are often handsome car designs that never see the light of day. Even still, when an unknown model pops up in the background of an executive portrait, our curiosity is entirely piqued.
We’ll cut to the chase. We don’t know much about this car, but we’re happy to share what we do know.
The man in the photo is Audi designer Alessandro Dambrosio. Officially, the Italian-born designer is responsible for Volkswagen Group Interbrand Projects and head of the the Corporate Design Studio in Braunschweig and the Audi Concept Design Studio in Munich.
Dambrosio recently sat down with German clothier SEESTRASSE7 for a quick interview found HERE in German and HERE in English via Google Translate. The supporting photo that ran with the interview obviously shows the designer with the enigmatic Audi concept and also another car in the foreground.
Looking at the original photo (via the links above), it’s easy to see that the car in the foreground is the Lamborghini Egoista concept. Dambrosio mentions that car in the discussion, identifying it as one of his designs for which he’s most proud. Whether or not then the Audi is also one of his designs remains to be seen… though is likely.
Given neither Audi nor Dambrosio mention the car anywhere that we’ve been able to find thus far, we’ll offer our best analysis of the car. Obviously it is a radical design, with front lights that surround what look like lower brake ducts, center lock wheels and a singleframe grille framework that seems to harken the era of Audi design that also created cars such as the quattro concept and e-tron Spyder concept. Unlike those concepts though, this car appears to be a low-slung 4 or 5-door sedan.
There are interesting details that we’ve seen before. These include the small aerodynamically optimized camera rearview mirrors and the very slight kick out of the grille’s vertical slats. These are both design cues we’ve seen before and specifically on “e-tron” concepts. Our best guess is that this was some sort of e-tron sedan. It is a guess, yes, but given the Audi design team’s consistency in design cues, we’re pretty confident in making that guess.
Other cues haven’t been seen before. We like the more over- (ahem) arching box flare treatment to the car’s very distinct fenders. We also like the placement of the four rings on the lower door, no doubt a nod to the door placement of the fade-away Audi logo on the doors of the original ur quattro.
Alas, that’s the best we can tell you. Audi never revealed this concept car to the public, and thus there’s no note of it in the publicly known brand lexicon. We suspect those inside Audi design are familiar, but we’ll just have to wait and see if we learn more in the future.