Designing eye

New head of design and a new design direction for Audi.

Ushering in a whole new era of design for the brand, Italian Massimo Frascella will take over the reins as the new Head of Audi Design this year.

20 February, 2024

"I believe in the emotional power of design to inspire, connect, and drive change"

Audi will welcome a new Head of Design this year when Italian Massimo Frascella joins the brand. He will accept the baton for the crucial role from long-standing design boss Marc Lichte, who will take on another role within the company. Frascella comes to Audi from 13 years at Jaguar Land Rover where he held senior roles including Head of Design and was instrumental in developing JRA’s design language.

His impressive career to date also includes positions at Ford Motor Company and Kia, having started out at Bertone after studying at the Istituto d`Arte Applicata & Design in Turin – one of Europe’s most renowned design institutions.

The move is an exciting one and marks a very special junction in Frascella’s career:

“Joining Audi is a very special moment for me. I am deeply honoured to assume the role of Chief Creative Officer and to guide such a talented team in shaping the future of the brand to new heights of innovation and distinction,” he says.

“I believe in the emotional power of design to inspire, connect, and drive change, and I am here to nurture and promote creativity as the beating heart of our brand." 

The appointment marks a significant move for Audi in the next phase of the brand’s development and continued transition to e-mobility. Design has long been a pillar of the brand, going hand-in-hand with innovation and technology and Frascella’s own philosophy of clean and precise design are perfectly aligned with Audi’s own.

"Simplicity is the essence of my approach to design,” says the 52-year-old Italian.

“I am passionate about creating designs that are free from superfluous ornaments and do not merely follow trends. Instead, we will rely on a timeless and sophisticated design language.” 

“Design has always been part of the brand’s core, of the DNA of the Audi brand. That is why, especially during this phase of technological transformation, ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ must be visible and tangible in the interior and exterior of all coming series models,” says Audi CEO Gernot Döllner.

"Massimo Frascella will ensure Audi vehicles are going to embody the brand’s identity through an unmistakable and emotional design language. Clarity, precision, and perfect proportions are at the centre of his design philosophy – qualities that seamlessly fit into the image of the Audi brand.” 

"I am passionate about creating designs that are free from superfluous ornaments and do not merely follow trends"

Lichte at the launch of the Audi e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT.
The Audi prologue set the stage for Lichte's design approach.
The Audi activesphere rounded out the 'sphere' design study and vision of the future.
(L to R) Audi urbansphere, skysphere and grandsphere concepts.

Lichte has been instrumental in guiding the brand's design language for the past decade

Audi’s current design boss Marc Lichte, the man who has overseen the design evolution of the brand since assuming the role in 2014 will take on a new role within the company from June this year. Since joining Audi a decade ago, Lichte has brought his own immense talents to the role, overseeing design concepts such as the Audi prologue which pointed the way forward for a number of new production models as well as ushering in the brand’s first series-production all-electric models – with the Audi e-tron and subsequent e-tron models.

Lichte is also man the responsible for the high-performance electric e-tron GT and RS e-tron, calling the vehicle ‘the most beautiful car he had ever designed’ citing the grand tourer’s perfect proportions as a breakthrough in design.

Most recently Lichte and his time produced the stunning Audi sphere series of design concepts – the Audi skysphere, grandsphere, urbansphere and activesphere – presenting a possible future design direction for the brand.

“Together with his team, Marc Lichte shaped the evolution of the brand’s design into the age of electric mobility. We thank Marc for having been a creative mind and visionary for the face of the brand for a decade,” says Audi CEO, Gernot Döllner.

Massimo Frascella will officially start in his new role at Audi on June 1st this year.

Massimo Frascella will assume his new role from June this year.