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Marc Lichte: Audi Design Chief Seeks New Horizons After a Decade of Innovation

After ten years as the Head of Audi Design, Marc Lichte is setting his sights on new creative challenges outside the VW Group. Known for his reduced shapes, courageous thinking, and relentless passion, Lichte’s design language will continue to influence Audi’s model range for years to come. “Good design and true progress can only come from real passion,” he states.

Over his 28-year career, including a decade at Audi, Marc Lichte (54) has overseen the design of more than 150 vehicles. His tenure at Audi was marked by significant achievements in exterior and interior design, as well as in the evolving field of UI/UX design for connected vehicles. Lichte’s efforts have been recognized with numerous international awards. On June 1, Massimo Frascella will succeed Lichte, who is departing to seek new creative impulses.

Lichte’s legacy includes his influential work on the Golf series V, VI, and VII during his time as Head of the Exterior Studio at Volkswagen. In 2014, he unveiled his design vision for Audi with concept cars like the Audi prologue and the Audi Q8 concept. Vehicles such as the luxury sedan Audi A8 and the sporty RS 6 and RS Q8 are testaments to his clear vision of a timeless, reduced design language. In February 2021, Lichte introduced the fully electric Gran Turismo, the Audi e-tron GT, which he considers “the most beautiful car I ever designed.”

Lichte’s impact extended to the sphere concept vehicles, which include the Audi skysphere roadster, grandsphere sedan, urbansphere space concept, and activesphere concept. These vehicles demonstrate how Audi Design is contributing to the company’s technological evolution.

CEO Gernot Döllner praised Lichte’s contributions: “For ten years, Marc and his team have done great things for the Audi brand and its design. He transferred series vehicles, including numerous market leaders, into new and attractive generations. At the same time, he accompanied the brand’s technical transition to electric mobility with his innovative design language and set the course for everything that is to come during the most exciting period in automotive design.”

Lichte’s design philosophy prioritized the customer, leading to numerous accolades. In 2020, Audi won five of the ten categories at Autonis. The following year, the e-tron GT received the Golden Steering Wheel for the Most Beautiful Car. The innovative design process introduced under Lichte, focusing on imagining cars from the inside out, earned the EyesOn Design Award at the Detroit Auto Show for Best Interior in 2022 and 2023 with the grandsphere and activesphere concepts.

Reflecting on his career, Lichte says, “It always takes a team to do something great. I am more than proud to have worked with such inspiring people for so long. But when it comes to design, the most important project is always the next one. The only way to remain relevant is to move – to move something and make a difference. But good design remains.”

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