Question: Mr. Lichte, it is not nonetheless 6 months given Audi generously presented a e-tron GT. It is a entirely electric Gran Turismo and we pronounced that it was a many pleasing automobile that we had ever been means to design. What can follow that?
Marc Lichte: Quite a lot. In fact, we would contend that we’re usually during a beginning. What we’re experiencing right now? With electromobility, a automobile has already been radically altered in a construction. The manifest energy core is no longer a engine, though rather a vast battery retard in a underfloor. In addition, there are a possibilities for digitalization and, above all, programmed driving. This will radically change a automobile in a entrance years. It’s a change that can substantially usually be compared with a transitory impulse when a carriage was superseded by a car.
It’s an huge technical challenge, that is undeniable. But what does it meant for automobile pattern in petrify terms?
Lichte: That can be explained utterly clearly. In a 135 years, we have always designed a automobile from a outward relocating inward. In other words, in a beginning, there was a doubt of what automobile shred a indication was to be positioned for and what engine drives that segment. From there, we came adult with a automobile physique and, consequently, a extraneous design. We would usually regard ourselves with conceptualizing a interior when all of that was set.
And now we wish to shake adult that determined process?
Lichte: Yes, exactly. Because programmed pushing is changing an facile indicate that formerly seemed unchangeable in all cars worldwide: in a future, drivers will no longer have to constantly keep their hands on a wheel. Without a charge of actively driving, they will benefit new freedoms and can structure their time themselves. Work, entertainment, or relaxing – these are all possible. And during a same time, we are also gaining – though a steering circle or pedals – new pattern possibilities for a interior and, utterly simply, some-more room and a improved clarity of space. For users, a interior will spin their personal giveaway space; for us designers, it’s a new pattern iota of a car. So a pattern routine starts with a question: who will be sitting in a new indication and what all would that chairman wish to do there? It’s a 180 grade turn. In a future, a automobile will no longer be designed from a outward in, though from a inside out.
“From a inside out” – other industries and automobile manufacturers have adopted that sign for themselves for a prolonged time. Why is Audi fasten their ranks now?
Lichte: It’s not about a slogan, though rather a radically new bargain of sold mobility. Here’s an example: Imagine a normal oppulance sedan – over 5 meters (16.4 feet) long, coloured windows, and embellished black. Where does a patron sit? In a driver’s seat? No, he’s sitting in a behind right seat, presumably regulating a back chair entertainment, while a chauffeur drives a car. But in a future, if a charge of pushing ceases to apply, afterwards it would be most some-more appealing to a patron to lay right in a front in a gentle chair with an unrestricted perspective of a outward or a vast onboard party complement like we would wish during home. For me, that’s initial category traveling.
You meant roving in a approach that has been indifferent for VIP airline guest until now?
Lichte: Yes, nonetheless we would earlier review it with a private jet than an airliner. Time in a automobile becomes peculiarity time. No some-more displays, buttons, or switches, though rather plenty space with a feel-good atmosphere. So something like a third vital space, alongside a home and a workplace.
The new oppulance for prolonged distances. That’s all good and good, though is that also a resolution for people who like sports cars? For families? For people in large cities?
Lichte: It doesn’t have to be, by any means. I’m resolutely assured that opposite automobile models will differ from one another to a significantly larger border in a future. The time when a automobile was a concede between a lot of paradoxical final or a kind of all-in-one resolution is over. Instead, there will be some-more and some-more cars whose whole concepts are tailored for a sold purpose or use case, be it a brief outing into a large city or a quick circuit around a racetrack.
Sounds like a vision?
Lichte: Not during all. In 2017 and 2019, for example, we introduced a Audi AI:CON and AI:ME judgment vehicles. They were prophesy cars. With them, we were looking 10 to twenty years into a future. Now, by contrast, we’re operative greatly on implementing a series. We’ll be promulgation a initial instance to a IAA in Munich in Sep with a production-based uncover car, a Audi grandsphere concept. The name radically says it all.