Yesterday Audi released some teaser photos of the new Audi R8. Well I’m sorry, but I couldn’t see much difference to the existing R8, but I did note that the new one comes with a new set of LED headlights. So that’s a key area sorted then.
The changes to the R8 may be discreet, but at least it looks a little different to the rest of the range. Which is more than can be said about the ‘lesser’ models.
Only last week I was overtaken by a new Audi A4. Only it wasn’t an A4, it was an A6 and I could only spot the difference by the badge on the back. I thought I was going mad, so I came home and did a Google image search for the new A6. Even Google asked “Did you mean the new Audi A4”.
I know it’s nothing new to criticise Audi for a lack of adventure in the styling department. We’ve all heard the jokes about the firm of putting the design for the A4 into a photocopier and simply increasing the magnification to create the A6, but when it affects the A8 and the S models, surely it’s only a matter of time before the strategy bites Audi on the bottom?
Face it, there’s an awful lot of people who buy the A8 or S8 for the image it portrays – 4 x rings = instant kudos. But when it’s hard to spot the difference between a £78k S8 and a £54k S6 saloon, surely sales will eventually suffer? Worse still, it doesn’t look a whole lot different to the £39k S4 saloon which itself is strikingly similar to the £24k A4. Surely the appeal of ‘look at me’ LED daytime running lights can only go so far?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge admirer of the Audi brand and its meteoric rise over the past couple of decades. But surely it isn’t just me who wants to see some individuality, charm and personality injected into its model line-up? Those who disagree with me will probably point to the number of sales and the quality of the cars in order to make a ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it‘ argument. I’m also aware that Audi isn’t the only company to be guilty of bland uniformity. It’s just that I care about Audi and it saddens me that I’m not attracted to a single car in their current line-up.
But I just wonder how long the smugness and aloofness can take the brand before folk start voting with their wallets and going elsewhere? Time will tell.
In the meantime, have a go at playing spot the difference with Audi…