Audi Could Finally Move Away From Huge Grilles On the Front of Their Cars

It appears design chief Andreas Mindt has different ideas for the future faces of Audi cars.

byStef Schrader|
Audi News photo

Finally, we might see a more dramatic change at Audi right on the nose of their cars. Audi head of exterior design Andreas Mindt told CarThrottle that they're looking at new ways to rethink the big grille up front, and it's about time. 

The company has had big ol' voids for grilles that run the full height of the front end since the early mid-2000s. That single-frame grille has been growing and growing ever since it became the new corporate face of Audi, from the friendly little catfish mouth on the B7-generation A4 all the way up to the Bane cosplay on the new Q8. 

Other marques, like Toyota, have joined Audi on this grille overkill adventure, and it's time to stop! Fortunately, Mindt agrees. He's looking to mess around with the whole concept of the grille in unexpected ways. 

Speaking to CarThrottle about the gorgeous new E-tron GT, Mindt said, "It’s not the big mouth anymore." He added, “It’s not growing growing growing, it’s not like this”.

While the vestigial shape of the good ol' Audi catfish mouth is still there on the E-tron GT, I have to agree that the use of different textures and body-colored paint within the central void on the nose make it look a lot less grille-heavy as a design. The rise of electric cars that don't need a huge grille up front for cooling should also open up more options for designers like Mindt to play around with. 

"When you paint the frame black, it looks bigger. When you paint the frame body color, it looks smaller…there are a lot of things you can do architecture-wise to change that [grille] and we have a lot of good ideas for that," Mindt told CarThrottle

"Maybe the border between grille and no grille will meld together - the frame is not like a border any more," Mindt continued. "Just think about what you can do in the future to make it meld together." 

Given that Audi's corporate sisters at Porsche and Volkswagen managed to make delightful aircooled cars for decades without any grilles at all up front, I'm excited to see where Mindt is going to take his front-end rethink.