Ansicht Tarnfolie Audi e-tron Prototyp am Hinterreifen

Charged up

The Audi e-tron prototype in a special camouflage design

This summer, the first fully electric Audi will celebrate its world premiere. Until then, the prototype of the sporty electric SUV will travel his last few test kilometers with a special apparel: the camouflage design of the Audi prototype has become a designer piece itself. The designers tell us why.

Audi Designer Dos Santos und Fahr-Becker sitzen am Tisch
They have a good reason to smile: designers Marco dos Santos (on the left) and Stephan Fahr-Becker created the camouflage design of the Audi e-tron prototype. The e-tron prototype will be on the road with the disguise until the world premiere in summer.

They are rather discreet and have a fascinating effect on anyone that sees them: prototypes. As prototypes, they hide many secrets, while having to travel their test kilometers on public streets. Always with the risk of driving in the front of a prototype hunter’s camera. To hide the secret of the new models as long as possible, the cars are disguised.

At the Geneva Motor Show, a special prototype causes a sensation: the disguised Audi e-tron prototype. The exceptionality: the camouflage foil of the development vehicle has become a designer piece itself – a premiere at Audi. But why does an object that is supposed to disguise design become a design object itself?

The story behind the e-tron camouflage

The answer can be found in the Audi Design Center in Ingolstadt. A stack of sketches is situated on the table. Designer Marco dos Santos leans over his notebook and with versed lines, the silhouette of the first fully electric Audi evolves. Together with his colleague Stephan Fahr-Becker, he designed the prototype’s foil. What becomes abundantly clear is that these two bring together a lot of creative energy.

“We want to tell a story with this foliation”, dos Santos says. “And this story will be: Audi becomes fully electric in 2018”. True to the motto “as little as possible, as much as needed”, the designers went on the search for the perfect balance between pattern and aesthetics. The decision to say goodbye to the traditional disguise was brave. Originally, the foil hides the details behind the pattern and thus misleads the eye deliberately.

Entwurf von Skizzen des e-tron Logos

The e-tron lettering is the basic pattern of the camouflage.

How the camouflage design was created step-by-step

The “skin” of the Audi e-tron prototype aims to show what hides beneath the hood. “We have charged up the known e-tron logo”, Fahr-Becker says. That’s why the result differentiates clearly from the previous e-tron logo for the hybrid models. It has been tasked with opening a new chapter in the Audi history and therefore has to be memorable.

While the vision was clear, the realization was a little trickier: “In the beginning, we experimented with horizontally shifting the written surface, later on with pixel aesthetics, dos Santos says. Always with one questions at the back of their heads: how little and abstract can it be, while not distorting the readability? “In the beginning, I overshot the mark quite a bit”, the designer remembers. Thus, it was time to go back to the drawing table.

The final result speaks for itself: a two-dimensional design of horizontal dynamics and vertical pixel shifts. The lettering is drawn across the whole car and roof width and has thus become a creative component of the exterior design. Every letter has its fixed place: the “e” on the driver’s side entwines the electric car’s tailgate precisely. “The colleagues surely must have had their fun during laminating”, Fahr-Becker says while laughing.

Entwürfe e-tron Prototyp auf Papier
From the sketch to the acutal prototype: The logo stretches out across the roof and width of the e-tron prototype and thus becomes an important aspect of the exterior design.

Why the designers decided to use orange elements

The car is also charged up in terms of colors: “The orange neon color symbolizes where the heart of the car is situated: in the battery”, dos Santos says. The orange-colored elements are an alignment to the high voltage network and visualize that the Audi e-tron prototype is powered fully electrical.

Motorhaube von Prototyp Fahrzeug Audi e-tron

The orange-colored elements illustrate the high voltage technology of the Audi e-tron prototype.

A sneaker dipped in color served as an inspiration for the design. That’s what will become a part of the new e-tron design language that will be incorporated into the series model. “Of course, we have intensified the color for the prototype.” A total of 188 Audi e-tron prototypes will be on the road with the special disguise during their last test kilometers until the big world premiere will take place in summer. And for the first time, taking picture is explicitly requested.

Prototype hunters can post their spectacular photos via the hashtag #etron in the social networks. Audi will feature the most beautiful pictures on the website www.e-tron.audi – without any form of hide-and-seek.

At work with the designers of the Audi e-tron prototype camouflage

The camouflage of the Audi e-tron prototype was created by the Audi designers Marco dos Santos and Stephan Fahr-Becker. Until recently, the disguise of the prototypes had similar optics – with the camouflage of the Audi e-tron prototype, a new chapter in the Audi history has begun: for the first time ever, the camouflage becomes the center of attention. A glimpse into the creation process in the Audi Design Center.

Visiting the Audi Design Center: Marco dos Santos working at the computer – here in the process of designing the the camouflage design's logo.
Electrified e-tron logo: at first, the designers played with horizontally shifting the written surfaces, later on with pixel aesthetics. In the end, lettering that mirrors the fully electrical Audi was created.
Designer Marco dos Santos has designed the Audi AI symbol and has contributed to camouflage design of the first fully electrical prototype with his creativity.
Together with his colleague Marco dos Santos, Audi designer Stephan Fahr-Becker has created a new kind of camouflage design.
For now, it's on paper, but soon it will be admired on the first e-tron prototype: the newly created camouflage design.

Visiting the Audi Design Center: Marco dos Santos working at the computer – here in the process of designing the the camouflage design's logo.

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Electrified e-tron logo: at first, the designers played with horizontally shifting the written surfaces, later on with pixel aesthetics. In the end, lettering that mirrors the fully electrical Audi was created.

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Designer Marco dos Santos has designed the Audi AI symbol and has contributed to camouflage design of the first fully electrical prototype with his creativity.

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Together with his colleague Marco dos Santos, Audi designer Stephan Fahr-Becker has created a new kind of camouflage design.

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For now, it's on paper, but soon it will be admired on the first e-tron prototype: the newly created camouflage design.

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Andre labrosse

16. June 2018 um 15:21
Je suis intéressé au modèle tenez-moi au courant

Carol Lessard

22. May 2018 um 0:27
Please send me more pictures of the E-TRON.
Thank you.
C.L.

Stephanie Huber

22. May 2018 um 7:27
Hi Carol,

you can find more photos of the Audi e-tron prototype on https://www.flickr.com/photos/audiag/albums/72157664396704527

Best,

Stephanie from the Audi Social Media team

Mario Meroni

17. May 2018 um 0:00
Do you use focus groups? This is a terrible ad campaign? The internet has had all this information and more about Audi e-tron. This ad is content free and treats buyers as if they were ignorant and uninformed. I thought you were targeting an upscale market ?

Stephanie Huber

17. May 2018 um 7:56
Hello Mario,

thanks for your comment. I'm really sorry, but I don't know what you mean. The Audi Blog is not a platform for ads, but informs users about all topics concerning Audi.

Best,

Stephanie form the Audi Social Media team

Larochelle Michel

16. May 2018 um 21:13
French please I'speak French
Tabarnac

Stephanie Huber

17. May 2018 um 7:50
Dear Michel,

at the moment we publish our articles only in German and English. Maybe in future we will also have a French version.

Best,

Stephanie from the Audi Social Media team

Stéphane Slogar

12. May 2018 um 15:10
Hey! I would like to be part of the testing schedule for road test of the Audi e-tron electric SUV in Canada. Please contact me. (I already had 2 Q5 Audi SUV in the past). Thank you to answer back to this comment.

Stephanie Huber

14. May 2018 um 13:04
Hi Stéphane,

thanks for your message. Unfortunately, you cannot be part of the testing team as this is only possible for Audi engineers. Get the latest news about the Audi e-tron prototype: https://www.e-tron.audi/en

Best,

Stephanie from the Audi Social Media team

Lindsay Brooks

11. May 2018 um 14:42
Like Tesla hopefully you will have an option of going very fast like their Ludicrous mode.
If you have that I will buy a car...Lindsay

Simon Chow

10. May 2018 um 23:50
When is your e-tron SUV coming out as I am in the market for one, I need to get one by Sept this year. I guess my only choice is the Jaguar I-Pace.

Stephanie Huber

14. May 2018 um 12:57
Dear Simon,

please stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter to get first-hand information about the release date of our first fully electric SUV.

Best,

Stephanie from the Audi Social Media team

Mary Dobbie

10. May 2018 um 23:46
I can’t wait!!!

Bryan Keelan

10. May 2018 um 23:09
What is the battery capacity in KWH? The charging rate is useful, but is not the key ability

Stephanie Huber

14. May 2018 um 13:07
Hi Bryan,

the production version of the Audi e-tron prototype is the first car on the market that can be charged with up to 150 kW. Find out more about our first fully electric SUV: https://www.e-tron.audi/en

Best,

Stephanie from the Audi Social Media team

Marcó Delgado Melo

25. March 2018 um 20:58
I’m interested to know more about. Thanks

NIKLAS MADSEN

17. March 2018 um 16:01
I THINK THE DESIGN OF THE CAMOUFLAGE IS VERY COOL AND STANDS OUT, JUST AS IT'S SHOULD DO! CAN'T WAIT TO SEE IT ON THE STREETS.

Sripathikumar T S

14. March 2018 um 16:59
I always like the Audi project and thinking... Being a computer science engineering student I have the dream of being a part of Audi. I love Audi

Johannes

7. March 2018 um 12:09
Looking forward to the launch of the car at the end of this year. Make sure the production car has the ability to fold down the middle rear seat. This is vital for long rang travel with skis as electric cars are subject to serious reduced range if driving high speed with ski-rack. Even with my Q7 today I transport the skis inside the car if long range to protect them from salt ans dirt. Jaguar Ipace do not have this feature which is a big mistake for the Norwegian market.
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