Designer Freedom?

As regulation continues to dictate how cars look mainly for “safety” reasons, this leaves less room for designers to design their dream car.  Also, as automotive designers move around, either within the holding companies or change firms, one can clearly see the design language represented in various cars, as they change company.  One such example is Marc Lichte, who currently heads up the design at Audi.  His long straight lines can clearly be seen in VW, where he was responsible for the exterior, into the current Audi line up.

Audi
Volkswagen

One can also see his mark in the new Audi A6, where his hard, long lines are evident making the car more masculine, longer and defined.  

Clearly one can see the inspiration of Audi motorsport, which the haunched wheel arches – a throwback to the Audi Ur Quattro, which dominated the rally scene in the 1980’s.

Audi A6
Audi A6

On the interior, his passion for Porsche can also be seen.  The double lines of the Porsches of old, can clearly be seen in the interior as well. Even the steering wheel is similar.

Audi A6 Interior
Porsche 993 Interior

But are cues from the past the way forward?  Should car companies follow history and previous design cues of the past, or like Jaguar, throw away history and focus on the future?

New XJ
Old XJ

What do you think?  Let me know in the comments below.

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