The shoulders of a luxury automaker need to be broad in order to carry the weight of the expectations that are placed upon it. Fortunately, the majority of these automakers benefit from their longevity and the full maturation that they enjoy as a result of it.
The added benefit of possessing an enduring legacy comes in their iconography, the distinctive styling that sets them apart from their competition. While Italian-inspired designs from the likes of Maserati and Alfa Romeo favor more bold brushstrokes in establishing their iconic look, Bavarian automakers excel in making effective use of their subtlety.
In this regard, there may be no automaker more successful than Audi. While certainly a lofty statement (since they count BMW and Mercedes-Benz among their key competitors) Audi should be applauded for both their technology-driven approach to automotive design and their refined ‘four rings’ iconography. More than luxury-class badging representative of historical ownership, it speaks to both continuity and interconnected energy that exists between all things.
This is evident in nearly all elements of Audi, from current model year offerings to developing technologies. It can be seen in their creation of proprietary fuels that, combined with Audi engineering, help to further sustainability. It even echoes throughout marketing that is impeccably compelling in its ability to feed our senses with evocative storytelling.
Propelled by the weight of expectation, Audi moves forward…enduring because of their conviction to continually look forward.
The Future of Audi
Nearly every automaker is keen to communicate a focus on sustainability and the creation of environmentally responsible vehicles. Hardly an exception, Audi stands as an innovator developing countless technologies with this goal in mind, without having to sacrifice the inherent bliss of sporty driving.
Imagine the satisfaction of driving a fuel-efficient performance vehicle designed to achieve CO2-neutrality. The fact that our heads are no longer turned by the integration of hybrid and electronic cars speaks volumes as to the exciting times that we live in. But with such technology still in its relative infancy, it will be far more satisfying to watch developments unfold over the course of coming decades.
Audi’s e-tron (electric car) technology targets an eventual range of 310 miles per charge. Those concerned about compromised performance can find assurance in a 4.6 print from 0-60 mph and an estimated top speed of 130mph. Building off Quattro drivetrain technology, e-tron utilizes three electric motors to power the axles in a more independent fashion. A streamlined design eliminates any reduction in aerodynamics and, in doing so, evolves driving. How? Consider the inclusion of cameras in place of side mirrors. In ways both large and small, this is a game-changer, enforcing evolution through innovation.
And speaking of shedding light upon possibilities, Audi plans to utilize light in a manner that will counteract the increase in digital distractions. While ground-effect lighting might (to-date) be thought of a distracting cliche employed by wannabe street racers, Audi aims to employ high-resolution laser projectors to enhance communication between other vehicles, and with pedestrians as well.
Imagine the benefits of brake lights, or directional signals being projected onto the ground around the vehicle, amplifying the driver’s intentions. Animated, such projections could draw attention away from the distractions of cell phones, or catch the attention of the more naturally distracted. Developed as part of the e-tron Sportback concept vehicle, it serves as yet another indication of how we can expect manual driving to evolve in the coming years.
And in terms of CO2 neutrality? Audi’s proprietary e-gas creates an immediate reduction in carbon emissions by up to 80%. This is achieved in the manner in which the component elements are bonded to one another throughout processing, transportation, compression, and consumption. But Audi’s success in creating sustainable power plants to support their alternative fuel initiatives only serves to encourage further developments.
With even more types of alternative fuels in development, Audi’s commitment to innovation speaks to the interconnectivity of today’s cultural mindset. No longer content to focus solely on styling, performance or available technologies, Audi’s advancements are mindful of the relationship between each. True sustainability is based on recognizing the reciprocal nature of everything. And while we’re in awe of Audi’s effective marketing (as we’ll talk about next) it’s amazing how much they choose to downplay these alternative fuels, which might be the most impressive of their innovation.
See For Yourself
If we celebrate Audi on the strength of their iconography and innovation, we’d be remiss if we didn’t touch on their marketing, as well. Wandering aimlessly across a landscape of vague 30-second car commercials that do little more than pacifying an A.D.D. society, Audi deserves applause for side-stepping the pitfall of simplicity.
Not only does Audi produce compelling video content that effectively communicates vehicle specs, and developing projects…but they’re visually stunning. We might criticize an automaker who relies on flash over substance, but Audi uses breath-taking filming it to enhance the strength of their substance and to create genuine excitement about it.
Whether we’re talking about laser light projections or the impact of Audi’s iconic five-cylinder powertrain, their productions are worth a viewing. But watch out…you can lose hours, unable to pull your eyes away from the screen; so don’t say we didn’t warn you.
The beauty of Audi comes in their execution. It’s easy to group them along with all automakers in their pursuit of innovation and sustainability, but their distinctive approach is worth taking note of. It’s easy to align them with luxury competitors in terms of pricing, but offerings like the A3 make entry-level luxury quite affordable.
With century-old roots, it grows increasingly clear that Audi’s branches reach out to the future. I, for one, will be watching with great interest to see what elements of tomorrow’s driving have a touch of something distinctively Audi.
Audi gets it.
Audi gets ‘us’.
And maybe, just maybe…a few of us are lucky enough to get an Audi.