A prominent car designer who absolutely shall not be named agreed with what everyone has been thinking, but has been reluctant to say: the newest Audi Q7 is amazingly bad.
I was walking the Detroit Auto Show floor and I spotted a car designer (whose cars you have seen and do adore) walking in the opposite direction, alone, unattended. I've seen the guy on TV before, I recognized him, and stopped him to ask his opinion. We happened to be crossing paths in front of the Audi stand.
I asked him what he thought of the lineup. He asked what I meant. I turned to the Q7. "It's hideous, isn't it?" He quickly double checked my badge that I wasn't an Audi employee, and then he relaxed.
He called it more like a station wagon than before, and he called it ugly. And he called it a mess.
After a pause, he had the most clear, most accurate description of everything tired, messy, boring, and bad about the design.
Maybe it's no surprise that Audi's head of design got "relieved of duties" last year.