From Audi to Mercedes: the designer of the A6 is now designing the E-Class


The designer of the A6 is now designing the E-Class

From Audi to Mercedes: the designer of the A6 is now designing the E-Class-audi

Achim Badstubner was responsible for the Audi A6, which appeared in 2011. He was in charge of Audi’s exterior design at the time and is now changing to Mercedes in the same role. Waiting here on him, among other things, the successor to the E-Class, the new edition of which is expected for 2016/17

Source: Audi

Is the? Design many Audi models – and suddenly hire Mercedes? No problem for Achim Badstubner, Audi’s head of exterior design for a long time: he sees better prospects in Stuttgart.

D.he Audi design department, which is used to success, has had a prominent exit. Achim Badstubner, head of exterior design for several years and today head of the Munich design studio, is saying goodbye to Sindelfingen. There he will be responsible for the exterior design of Mercedes from January 1st.

The 49-year-old worked in Audi design for 13 years. There he played a key role in many successful series models, including the current A6; Badstubner was also responsible for the Urban Concept vehicle study and the electrically powered A2 study from 2011.

Since Audi chief designer Wolfgang Egger, 50, took over the operational business from Stefan Sielaff in February 2012, the Ingolstadt design department has been subject to considerable upheaval – with the blessing of Walter de’Silva, 62, the top designer of the Volkswagen group.

Giugiaro still has a word in it

The personnel restructuring at Audi is summarized under the topic of "studio concept". About a year ago, Egger had a stronger network of exterior and interior design as well as the area of ​​color&Trim (colors and fabrics) announced.

The Munich studio, of all places, was highlighted as a model for the entire design process. “The concept design studio in Munich shows how it is done and reflects the freedom in the work process of the creative. Automobile designers and product designers enrich each other with creative impulses. In November 2012, designers let their ideas run wild where there used to be a car repair shop.

For Badstubner, the transfer to Munich could not have been an advancement, at best a sideways movement with uncertain prospects. That could be the reason for switching to Mercedes, although the brand with the star has a completely different design philosophy than Audi.

Audi‘s chief designer Egger now has to implement the studio concept without Badstubner and also face other challenges. A number of new models and the associated S and RS derivatives are due to be defined and designed, and a completely new design center is under construction. In addition, the Italian bodywork cutter ItalDesign has to be integrated – a process in which company patriarch Giorgio Giugiaro continues to have an important say.

"Audi has become conservative"

In addition, the Audi design has to face growing criticism. "Audi’s design language has become relatively conservative," says Gernot Bracht, lecturer in transportation design at the Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences. "Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the models from one another."

Meanwhile, Daimler chief designer Gorden Wagener praises his new acquisition: “The exterior design basically represents the core of the brand. We are far from copying Audi; we have our own strong design language. But Achim drew some of the warmer, rounder and more emotional Audis. "

In fact, the A6 is not quite as angular and bulky as some other models. With the A6, Audi also began to optically take back the dominant giant radiator grille, the beveled upper corners of the frame. Badstubner’s departure is definitely a loss for Audi design.

"Actually, it is very seldom that we bring in someone from outside for such a central role, especially since we also have great talents internally," says Wagener. "If it weren’t for Achim, we wouldn’t have done it."

P.S .: Badstubner’s predecessor at Mercedes, Robert Lesnik, does not leave the company, but rises up: He will take on a new position to be created between Wagener and Badstubner.

P.P.S .: Badstubner is not the only new addition from the VW Group. For a few weeks, the former Porsche designer Claudia Rockle has been working as a manager in the creative color department&Trim department at Mercedes-Benz.

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