Update: Oops. Frank Gehry's appearance at the Audi Cross Cabriolet concept reveal confused a number of observers, but none quite as much as me. Turns out Gehry was there to help sell the car and ruminate on the nature of design, but he didn't have a hand in designing the car itself.
One of the few big world premieres here at the L.A. Auto Show, at least so far, is the flashy, meaty convertible you see here – the Audi Cross Cabriolet Quattro concept.
Designed in coordination with starchitect Frank Gehry, The concept is meant to be overtly, self-consciously “American,” hence the bold “Sunset Copper” finish, the big gaping maw, the less-than-slender proportions all around. And hence plenty of power: Its 3-liter, 6-cylinder TDI diesel engine can do 0-60 in 7.2 seconds. In efficiency mode, the Cross Cabriolet gets 20 percent better mileage. Headlamps and tail lamps are all LEDs. Audi reps say some of the design cues in this concept will appear in the new Q5, set to appear next year, which may explain some of this convertible’s very SUV-like lines. Will it get built? We’ll see. If so, let’s
hope it holds together better than some of Gehry’s other recent projects... —Seth Fletcher