The Audi A8, across all of its generations, is one of the most understated, handsome designs in its class. But it could have become an awesome retrofuture weirdo like this.
— Car Design News (@CarDesignNews) August 13, 2014
In the '90s, Audi turned its styling direction back to the 1930s. There were concept cars like the Rosemeyer and the AVUS as well as road cars like the fifteen-years-ahead-of-its-time A2.
This design proposal from Derek Jenkins shows that the A8 could have gone in that direction, too.
And if you're wondering who this Jenkins guy was, he's credited for the A2, the A8, and the VW Scirocco concept. He was with VW and Audi for fifteen year, even serving as Chief of Design for Volkswagen Group North America. The man had pull.
In the end, Jenkins only went halfway retro with the second generation (D3) Audi A8. It retained the blocky form of the rest of the Audi range, but held back from a real steampunk style. For a conservative market, that was probably for the best.
But would the world be a better place with an A8 as nuts as that design study?