The absence of a conventional grille is something with which many people can identify now whether a car is electric or IC engine powered. This one major design change in new generation electric vehicles is now accepted by almost all vehicle makers. However, Audi has a different plan altogether by sticking to the conventional roots, and it will continue to provide front grille in its electric vehicles.
As the electric vehicles don’t come with radiators or IC engines in general, the purpose of having a front grille to channel air towards the radiator to keep it cool is completely nullified. This has allowed the carmakers to give a clean look to the front profile of the cars, something which was pioneered much with Tesla and now followed by other older brands around the world.
However, Audi has stated that the front grille is still one design element which adds in much substance to the overall design of a car. Apart from believing that the grille prevents the car from looking bland while viewed from the front, the grille in the new generation Audi EVs retains the grille’s purpose of keeping the powertrain cool. In case of electric vehicles, it is supposed to be the different mechanical components and batteries, the latter of which can heat up in case of prolonged use for longer distances.
Audi is determined with the front grille as one of the main design highlights of a car. As a result of this decision, the cars based on the new generation design concepts of the carmaker, which are termed as ‘spheres’, will come with single frame grille. Naming it as ‘electric face’, these single-face grille designs will help the Audi EVs to have a differentiated visual appeal compared to the cars they will be competing with in the near future.
Currently, Audi has the e-tron range of all-electric SUVs in the markets worldwide, which do feature closed grille designs, thus keeping the erstwhile brand identity still intact. Audi has already stated that the e-tron range will be the new face of Audi for the future, as all of its electric vehicles lined up for the future will be launched under this sub-brand. This list of upcoming Audi EVs will expand with the launch of A6 e-tron electric sedan, which is currently in its concept stage. It is expected to retain much of the design of the concept, including the closed grille design at the front.
While Audi is sure that is not parting with the design element of front grille anytime soon, it is not clear that what form the grille will take in the future electric vehicles from the carmaker. However, in all likelihood, the new generation Audi EVs will have blacked out panels shaped in the form of grilles or just stylized outlines.
Audi has already kick-started its journey in the electric vehicle category in the Indian car market with the e-tron range. The Audi e-tron was launched in India in July 2021 with three different variants – e-tron 50, e-tron 55 and e-tron Sportback 55. The starting price of the Audi e-tron range has been set at Rs. 99.99 lakh (ex-showroom, India).