The current Audi A4 will respect the traditional life cycle of 6 years. It will be replaced in late 2014, once Walter de Silva (Chief designer for the entire Volkswagen Group) will have updated the design of the future four rings cars with a new distinctive style. The large saloon will have a muscular sporty styling and an improved streamline, which will also benefit the overall proportions: the A4 will be a more balanced and proportionate car compared to the current series. The Italian designer will also work on a new three-dimensional grille and new wheel arches, which will characterise the next generation of Audi.
Auto Motor und Sport exchanged a few words with Wolfgang Egger, Head of Design for the Audi Group, who also revealed that the new A4 will be offered in a plug-in hybrid variant. The car will have an electric-only range of approximately 50 km (31 miles). We still hold no information about the engine range, but it is reasonable to expect an evolution of today’s units.
Main Audi designer and top executive Walter de’ Silva confirmed at the Bologna Motor Show that the German carmaker is planning to launch a rival to Bmw X6, and could even come up with a challenger for the upcoming Bmw X4 inspired by Volkswagen Cross Coupe Concept.
The car is currently dubbed by the press as ‘Q6′, and it is quite likely to adopt a low-roof SUV-coupe crossover shape, and will be positioned between the Q7 premium large SUV (pictured above) and Q5 premium medium SUV. De’ Silva also said that Audi is still considering whether to add a smaller SUV, likely named the Q4, to be placed in Audi’s range right in between the Q3 and Q5 and in charge of competing with Bmw already confirmed X4 model.
As for now, no release date or other info have been released, but it is fair to assume that the project (or both) will lead to the unveiling of the actual car(s) within three years, as the VW Group aims at overtaking Bmw in the realm of premium brands by 2015.
via | Automotive News Europe
Curious to see that while Fiat has said its Alfa Romeo brand is not for sale, especially not to Volkswagen, the German group continues its acquisition of other Italian ‘assets’ all the same. The most recent move to Volkswagen from Fiat comes in the form of personnel, with Giovanni Perosino, head of marketing and communications at Fiat Group, moving to the same role at VW.
The Italians are describing the move from the 46-year-old as another example of the drain of human resources as Volkswagen taps into the Italian talent pool. Perosino will join compatriots Luca De Meo, Volkswagen marketing director, and Walter de Silva, head of design at VW.
How much as consumers we will see their influence filter through, apart from the more obvious touch of the design department, we’ll be seeing in the future but it’s probably not too far-fetched to say that Volkswagen is slowly becoming more Italianised. Will we see an eventual acquisition of Alfa Romeo…?
The Italians are not enjoying this rumour at all: Volkswagen could be looking at a purchase of Alfa Romeo if Fiat were to sell the struggling brand. Italy’s honeymoon with Sergio Marchionne would be well and truly over if the the Fiat CEO were to pass such a well-loved brand into the hands of the German VW Group, proving that the Germans are happy to tap the heritage and potential of a brand that the Italians either can’t or won’t. While on the basis of patriotism and nostalgia, the Italians are irked at the rumour, on the basis of car quality and bringing the brand back to life, there is more than one potential customer for a VW-built Alfa. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves - let’s look at the rumour in its detail.
According to Quattroruote magazine and Autoblog.it, VW design head Walter de Silva, has a soft spot for Alfas and has such has convinced Martin Winterkorn that if Alfa were to come up for sale, VW should buy. To this end, a project is already in place to quietly plan a takeover proposition which at this stage includes a one-billion euro investment. Given what is apparently a passion for Alfa design, de Silva has in mind already about eight models for Alfa, along with designs and drawings.
If this were true, things are already well underway at Volkswagen to buy Alfa Romeo without the Italian brand actually going on sale. But a stitch in time saves nine and despite the fear that Alfa models could start to take on German design characteristics - steady but a bit boring - could it be exactly what Alfa needs? We would need to do a double-take on the Alfa brand all of sudden becoming German, but if the rumour is to be believed things are more detailed than Volkswagen pipe dreams of owning a piece of history. Read on for the details.
Flavio Manzoni, Walter de’ Silva’s right hand man and current director of creative design at Volkswagen Group, is moving back to his home country to take up the post of design at Ferrari. He will be responsible for Ferrari style and will report directly to the managing director, Amedeo Felisa.
The news is unofficial and it’s unknown where current Ferrari design director Donato Coco will go, though Alfa Romeo has been rumoured as a possibility. Manzoni is set to take up his role from January 1st next year, and his first job will be to create a true Ferrari style centre and create a new brand identity, relying less on the image of Pininfarina.
Source | Quattroruote