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Audi Getting Emotional (In Design That Is)

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SEE ALSO: 2014 LA Auto Show-Press Pass Coverage +VIDEO
SEE ALSO: Audi Prologue Official Press Release Including Specs

By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
November 19, 2014

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On the eve of the start of the 2014 Los Angeles International Auto Show, Audi treated its media guests to two great views, first from the villa they rented for the evening’s event…the greater LA area looked brilliant, and for the business at hand an exclusive preview of the Audi Prologue, their concept car that incorporates upcoming Audi design features.

Audi has a history of employing great designers. Including Freeman Thomas, who was responsible for the design of the Volkswagen New Beetle and the Audi TT concept cars, both of which were developed into production models. After leaving Volkswagen, Freeman joined Chrysler and after six years left to become Ford’s Director, Strategic Design for North America, responsible for developing product design strategies and concept vehicles for Ford (new Mustang), Lincoln and Mercury.

Another important name in the world of car design is J. Mays, who was with Volkswagen before he joined Ford as vice president of design in 1997 and became responsible for Ford and the PAG brands. (Mays retired in 2011).

Last but not least is Peter Schreyer, who as vice president of design at Hyundai/Kia steered both brands into a new design era to successfully attract new customers. While he was at Volkswagen, he was responsible for the production version of the Audi TT and new Beetle, as well as for the A6, A3, Volkswagen Eos and Concept R. After he left in 2006, Ferdinand Pich, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, said “We should never have let him go…”

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Since 2006, the Group has another talented designer, Karl Lichte (45). He oversaw exterior design at Volkswagen and was appointed to lead Audi Design last February.

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Here in Los Angeles he is making waves with the gorgeous Audi Prologue concept. Liche has sharpened Audi’s styling with more horizontal lines, sharper creases and in this case a full grown coupe.

The interior also breathes design, combined with new technology to use smart phones and apps, that can be ‘waved’ from the display in front of the passenger seat to the driver and back.

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A buzz about the sexy Prologue spread around the LA Convention center which brought a huge crowd to witness it’s world debut this morning. The appreciative audience made up of many of the world’s automotive journalists applauded enthusiastically as they were presented to Audi’s future design well spotlighted in the Prologue Coupe Concept.

According to Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s board member in charge of development, this understanding and acceptance of our new design direction is just what Audi wants: “Getting more emotional.”