Audi to change 'lookalike' cars?

2013-01-16 08:41

INGOLSTADT, Germany - A senior Audi executive has urged a design overhaul in response to criticism that the brand is making "lookalike" vehicles which differ only in length.

Development chief Wolfgang Duerheimer said: "I've heard criticism from some markets; in the case of certain models. we're still getting there.

"In future I will join forces with our designers to ensure that model ranges can be more readily distinguished."


The automaker’s A4, A6 and range-topping A8 share many design elements and a stronger family resemblance than comparable models from BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

Duerheimer said: "Naturally, an A8 customer must find features which set his car apart from an A4 or an A6.”

He urged in-house designers to be more bold and experimental while retaining what he called Audi's bechmark "design precision".


Audi interiors are known for restrained upmarket ambiance rather than opulent features. Duerheimer said designers could learn from luxury automakers Bentley and Bugatti, each owned by Audi's parent company VW.

Here's what some Wheels24 readers had to say about Audi's model range:

GTO said: "Audi makes super nice cars but the design is getting a bit like Russian dolls"

Metar911 said: "You clearly have never seen a A4, A5, A6, A7 or A8 in real life! A4, A6 and A8 are the same. Apart from the inside which are miles apart on each model. The A7 and A5 look completely different."

James said: I'm surprised that it took Audi headoffice so long to see that these cars all look the same. I battled to see the difference even though I personally work for Audi south Africa, how much more for a layman?"

Main image quiz - Even some of the Audi guys got it wrong in the comments. The correct answer is 2011 Audi A6 (top) and 2012 Audi A4 (bottom).

So, can you tell one Audi from another or are you as stumped as many drivers when it comes to spotting their differences? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts or share your view in our Readers' Comments section below.

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  • mogo.naut - 2013-01-16 09:10

    "CAN YOU SPOT THE DIFFERENCE?" - Uhm.. Yeah, I'm sure the badges aren't the same...

  • trevorlbennett - 2013-01-16 10:09

    So now they do accept that their cars just look the same. Audi fans on the other hand have been having endless fights on how each Audi is uniquely different from one another.

      craig.b.johnston.7 - 2013-01-16 15:39

      bmw is not very far behind with this either so don`t get to excited old boy.Hey,atleast constantly handsome instead of always ugly like the beemers i guess.

  • devkane - 2013-01-16 12:58

    A true petrolhead will be able to tell the difference from miles away.. I think that the similarity is a result of strong brand identity styling and that all Audis look handsome (though not really beautiful). The problem with automakers whose cars look very different from each other (eg. Honda) is the love/hate response to the styling and that can cause a customer's brand loyalty to be reduced. Example: I've owned an A4 and love it, now I'm looking for more and I'll take the A6 because it has the same traits on a larger scale. Example 2: I've owned a Jazz and love it, now I'm looking for more but I won't buy a Civic because the styling is so radically different from the Jazz's which appeals to me. Obviously other factors come into the purchase decision but we're only looking at aesthetics here..

  • alvzgovender - 2013-01-16 13:22

    above - A8, below - A6. I heard of car manufacturers having a corporate face, but Audi takes it to the extreme!

      ethan.pugh.92 - 2013-01-17 11:04

      Uhhhh - wrong. This is hilarious - someone took the time to write what I, personally, have been thinking for a while.

  • jarques.cloete - 2013-01-16 13:30

    The top one is the A6 and the bottom one is the A4. Look at the shape of the headlights.

      afrikeni - 2013-01-16 14:59

      No the top one is an A10 and the bottom an A8,The top one appear longer so I added the A10 which will probably come, lol.

  • jackey.moss - 2013-01-16 16:00

    The familiar look between the A1 and A3 must have pushed this guy over the edge..The New A3 is a A magnified to atlest 180

  • Blixum - 2013-01-16 17:40

    It's a bit late now. Audi should have retained the services of the designer of the new Korean cars when they still had the opportunity. Now they have to fight his creativity which he took with him when he left.

  • hilton.camons.1 - 2013-01-16 19:16

    I truly don't see how Audi owners can argue their car's uniqueness from another stablemate. When an Audi comes heading my way on the roads, I can't figure out exactly what model it is, even when it passes me. So would I fork out R1.1 million for an A8 that looks like a R350,000 A4? Nah! I think I'll stick with my Cadillac CTS - at least that's a car that knows what it is...

      jaco.vanniekerk.14 - 2013-01-17 13:16

      You'll probably have to stick with your caddie, the whole willing buyer willing seller thing is a bitch

      phillip.havenga - 2013-01-17 18:52

      hilton one could also say how awesome is it to pay R350 000 for a car that looks like a R1.2 million A8. It's all about perception.

  • siphok1 - 2013-01-16 20:06

    i knw how to tell cars apart but i agree with the article that Audis are similar now,

  • de.stig.9 - 2013-01-16 20:29

    VW need to come clean as well, i mean whats the difference between Polo, Passat and Jetta?

      ianmichaelcalder - 2013-01-17 08:25

      I'm sure their response is don't like it, don't buy it. Their massive differences are in interior and their size and engine options. They build quality cars for different markets.

  • tatsee - 2013-01-17 09:03

    Top one A6 (hint-look at the number plate and if you know how Audi does their number plates on media photo's then this points it to be an A6) and the bottom one is an A4. Now,were is my prize Audi???

  • shaun.knoesen.9 - 2013-01-17 11:23

    Makes no difference to me - I can` afford either om them :-(

  • melusi.mo - 2013-01-17 12:19

    lol it's the A6 and A4...oh wait! ay, I don't know which is which but yea ,like the other car jurno put it "Audis are like sausages, all the same only cut in different lengths!!"

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