28 Jul
When auto-brands, designers and pianomakers unite to make music

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In the last decade Audi has completely transformed itslef, largely on the strength of its stunning design and engineering. When Walter de’Silva got ahold of the company in 2002 and began helming its design division, he turned its destiny 180 degrees — culminating in the mindblowing Audi s5, which he’s called his most beautiful design ever (and that isn’t hyperbole). What was a brand long dead in the water somehow made a miraculous return in the US, something many a car company can only dream of (RIP Peugeot, Citroen, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Opel, Renault, etc). He’s since moved on to helm the entire VW Design group, but his touch remains even in the work of his successor Wolfgang Egger.

So it’s little surprise that Audi chooses to show off its design prowess in other aspects of industrial design (anyone remember that Kobe Adidas shoe? Probly one of Audi’s largest misfires). So to celebrate Audi’s 100th birthday, they’ve teamed up with renowned Austrian piano builders Bösendorfer to produce a unique, complete design rethink or the classic grand piano. Only a company so assured of its design prowess would attempt to mark their centenary trying to design something as timeless and function-perfect as the grand piano, but the Four Rings are giving it a shot.

And the results speak for themselves. The Bösendorfer Audi Design Grand Piano made its world debut at Audi’s 100th anniversary celebration in Ingolstadt on July 16, and is now available to the public for a mere €100,000 (that’s about $140,000). Anyone got about $138K to lend me…? Oh, and about 8 years of piano lessons…?

A couple more close-up pics after the Jump…

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