Skip advert
Advertisement
Opinion

"How a car drives could get less important"

Audi chairman Rupert Stadler hints at a future where autonomous driving and in-car tech takes priority over driving dynamics

If you ever needed proof of how great it is to work in the car business, take a look at some footage of Audi boss Rupert Stadler. He’s a bloke who gives a new meaning to upbeat. You can’t fail to feed off his energy as he speaks with massive enthusiasm about his brand, hands punching the air to illustrate every point, even if he completely sidesteps the original question on occasion.

Advertisement - Article continues below

If every Audi showroom had a Rupert Stadler in it, sales would double overnight – and they’ve been rocketing recently anyway.

I had the pleasure of his company last week and covered topics ranging from the growing number of SUVs in the Audi range to Audi’s potential involvement in F1.

One thing that ups the excitement level beyond fever pitch for Stadler is autonomous, or piloted, driving. Audi is already working in a world where its cars can drive themselves (the next A8 will arrive in 2017 with piloted driving at speeds up to 50mph), talk to each other and talk to the infrastructure to ease congestion.

Stadler says piloted driving will give people back valuable time, time that can be spent in his cars using the very latest connectivity. But with such focus on technology – all in response to customer demand – I asked him what value there will be in the driver appeal of new Audis.

“How a car drives could get less important,” he told me. “It will never change for a sports car, but it could change for a standard saloon or SUV.”

That will send shivers down the spine of some, but Stadler is so focused on giving his customers what they want, wrapped in a high quality, super-stylish package, it’s difficult to disagree with his reasoning. Looking at Audi’s booming sales, it’s a formula that’s working.

What's more important to you when you buy a car, how it drives or other aspects? Do you think technology is carrying more weight with buyers? Let us know in the comments below...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

UK new car buyers love a Mercedes-Benz but Ford is favourite when used
Mercedes A-Class - front cornering
News

UK new car buyers love a Mercedes-Benz but Ford is favourite when used

Data from YouGov’s BrandIndex shows that Mercedes-Benz is a top choice with new car buyers, with used buyers favouring Ford
2 May 2024
Goodbye 40 TDI: Audi drops the numbered engine names that confused us all
Audi 40 TDI badge
News

Goodbye 40 TDI: Audi drops the numbered engine names that confused us all

Audi is set to remove the powertrain naming strategy from the back of its cars
18 Mar 2024
Best new cars coming in 2024
Best new cars coming in 2024 - header image
Best cars & vans

Best new cars coming in 2024

There are some big new models from the likes of BMW, Citroen, Dacia, Ford, MINI, Skoda and more on the way in 2024
12 Mar 2024
Audi RS Avant megatest: the greatest fast Audi estate cars head-to-head
Audi RS Avant megatest - static header
Features

Audi RS Avant megatest: the greatest fast Audi estate cars head-to-head

We bring together the very best Audi RS Avants to celebrate 30 years of quattro-equipped fast estate cars
26 Dec 2023

Most Popular

New Kia EV3 is a £30k electric car with a 372-mile range
Kia EV3 - front
News

New Kia EV3 is a £30k electric car with a 372-mile range

Kia expands its electric line up with the EV3 – taking plenty of inspiration from the flagship EV9
23 May 2024
New 2024 Nissan Qashqai prices and specs announced as family SUV war heats up
Nissan Qashqai reveal - full front
News

New 2024 Nissan Qashqai prices and specs announced as family SUV war heats up

The start price for the Nissan Qashqai has increased by £3,000 due to the loss of the old entry-level Visia trim
24 May 2024
Citroen C3 review
Citroen e-C3 - front
In-depth reviews

Citroen C3 review

A clever rethink of the small, affordable car theme, the C3 and its all-electric e-C3 twin have the potential to really shake up the market
22 May 2024