Audi & the design of “inward flow”

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Well i gotta give it to Audi, not just because they are my favourite car company, but because they are the only company I can think of who are currently designing cars which will look classic in 10, 20, or 30 years from now (pardon me Alfa Romeo, but you’re kinda losing it).  They are the only company I can think of who have attention to detail.  The evidence for this is in the brand new Audi A7 introduced this past week in Germany.   The rear end of the new A7 has been getting under my skin since the introduction….and now i know why.

The back end flows inwards, going back towards the body.  Sure there is a bumper, however this inward flow hasn’t been used in many modern cars….until now. They have brought back the inward flow of the rear end!  I know Alfa Romeo have used this ‘inward flow’ (as i refer to it) in their 8c Competizione, however it was a bit overdone with the weird round tail light, but i’m not complaining! The 8c was a stunningly designed car.  I think Corvettes and special edition cars like the Ford GT also used this, but when have you recently seen it on a production sedan? i can’t remember any car in the last 10 or 20 years with this….production sedan, shall is say.

Alfa Romeo has a long history of sports cars with this inward flow, I generally recollect one of my favourite Alfa Romeos, the superb Montreal:

Audi claims their inspiration for the new style rear-end comes from them analyzing the 1970s Audi 100 Coupes and i can definitely see what they were looking at…..in fact, i think this new car has more similarity to that design than any other current Audi.

Apparently, this was a very conscious effort to consider ‘older’ designs when designing the A7.  Check out this drawing that Audi issued to the press about the influences of the A7 design.

It seems though, that Lamborghini has been flirting with this idea for a while!  Well at least in concept form.  Check out the Lamborghini Estoque Concept and the Lamborghini Miura Concept from the past several years.  Same indented inward flow rear end.  Lamborghini, however, is a company essentially operated by Audi, so this isn’t surprising at all….

So what do you guys think about this? will this set a trend and bring this design sense back into the currently lackluster japanese & korean-influenced automotive design world? Can Audi influence other car makers to bring something new & old back into design?  Alfa Romeo from a few years ago (2000-2007) really influenced alot of automotive design, however it didn’t last…..but I feel that Audi has already caused all these companies to use “big grilles”….can they get the rest of the industry to throw a bit of retro in the game? I hope so.

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9 thoughts on “Audi & the design of “inward flow”

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