The Audi Q6 e-tron prototype unique “Like a tailor-made suit”

Each design is one of a kind: Since unveiling the Audi Q6 e-tron in 2018, the brand with the four rings has been fitting prototypes and one-off models with individual decals, Audi’s so-called “livery design” – most recently the S1 Hoonitron and the Formula 1 show car. The brand with the four rings has already presented more than 20 vehicles featuring this special exterior, all designed by Marco dos Santos, who is responsible for Design Branding at Audi. His latest vision now decorates the Audi Q6 e-tron prototype. Marco dos Santos uses his latest decals to explain the philosophy behind the expressive design, how men’s suits factor in, and what makes even a designer nervous.

 “What makes the design language unique is that this conversation can be held globally”

“Audi’s design language is taking the next step with the Q6 e-tron , and we wanted to make that clear in the decals,” says dos Santos. “A vehicle’s architecture and character are always unique and so is each individual decal design. It always starts with deciding which elements on the vehicle you want to highlight and emphasize.” While the new project also draws on previous design elements – such as the neon red color also used on the Audi Q6 e-tron, widely familiar from the memorable decals on the 2018 Audi e-tron – each new model also opens a new chapter. dos Santos remarks. “At Audi, technology and design are inextricably linked and form a single entity. As our technologies become more powerful and precise, this is also visible in our design, choice of materials, and storytelling,” dos Santos explains.

Audi Q6 e-tron
Special accentuation of the vehicle sculpture: Marco dos Santos, who is responsible for design branding at Audi, has decorated the prototype of the Audi Q6 e-tron with an individual foliation, the so-called Livery Design.

According to dos Santos, the decals translate the vehicle’s technical elements into a memorable visual language. “Basically, we want to start a conversation with the decals.” What makes the design language unique is that this conversation can be held globally. “Certain things are perceived differently in different countries, but in the end, design either works everywhere – or nowhere.”

Shapes have smooth interflow to emphasize key elements

In the case of the Audi Q6 e-tron, large graphics identify the vehicle as a prototype at first glance, which, dos Santos believes, are “always in a very special field of tension.” “When it comes to a prototype, the decals create opportunities for us to converse about the design, which is actually still largely under wraps. This allows us to stay vague, while already nailing down certain aspects.”

Sharp lines and high contrast: Large-scale radial graphics in Gloss Fierce Fuchsia meet a detailed geometric mesh and stripe graphics in Silver. The shapes flow smoothly into one another, emphasizing key elements of the vehicle’s architecture. The lower rocker panel is set off from the body in white, accentuating Audi’s e-tron philosophy, which places emissions-free driving at the heart of the design. The five-arm dynamic rims and the Singleframe that defines Audi’s look are also completely white. Neon red inlays, called the “e-tron Powerstripes”, emphasize the upper area of the rocker panel. As the seat of the battery, this is the beating heart of the fully electrified vehicle.

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