I Had a Chat With the Original Audi R8’s Designer and He Drew Me This Sweet Sketch

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By Car Brand Experts


Chatting with the Designer of the Original Audi R8 and His Sketch

Last weekend, amidst the festivities of Monterey Car Week, I was honored to be present at the retirement celebration of the iconic Audi R8. Among the distinguished guests were Frank Lamberty, the illustrious designer of the original Audi R8, and Tom Kristensen, the legendary nine-time Le Mans winner. Despite being a mere enthusiast among giants of the automotive world, I had the privilege of sharing valuable moments with these luminaries.

A Meeting of Legends

During the event, I had the pleasure of engaging in conversations with Lamberty and Kristensen. Notably, Lamberty’s down-to-earth demeanor stood out. He didn’t speak in cryptic design language but instead shared anecdotes of his adventures in Norway, memories with racing legend Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, and his profound affection for race cars, especially the Audi R8.

The Passion Unveiled

As vintage F1 cars echoed through Laguna Seca, a red Audi R8 V10 streaked past us, eliciting childlike excitement from Lamberty. Witnessing the car in action reignited his passion, leading to insightful discussions about the R8′s evolution, design elements, and its rich racing heritage, closely linked to Kristensen’s triumphs.

The Birth of a Legend

Lamberty reminisced about the inception of the Audi R8, emphasizing the need to create a distinctively German mid-engine sports car. Drawing inspiration from icons like the Porsche 904, Ducati 996, and an eagle, he infused the R8 with aerodynamic prowess and elegance that defined its unique identity.

The Sketch That Speaks Volumes

Following our engaging conversation, Lamberty, in a spontaneous fashion, grabbed a pen and a humble napkin bearing the Audi logo. Despite the unconventional canvas, he sketched a glimpse of his visionary design, encapsulating the essence of the Audi R8 in a few swift strokes.


Meeting Frank Lamberty, the visionary behind the original Audi R8, was a profound experience that unveiled the passion and creativity that shaped an automotive icon. His dedication to infusing German heritage and cutting-edge design elements into the Audi R8 resonates strongly, reflecting a legacy that continues to inspire enthusiasts worldwide.


Q: Who is Frank Lamberty?

A: Frank Lamberty is the designer of the original Audi R8, a revered figure known for his iconic contribution to the automotive industry.

Q: What inspired the design of the Audi R8?

A: The Audi R8 drew inspiration from aerodynamic principles, the Porsche 904, Ducati 996, and the elegance of an eagle, resulting in a blend of purposeful aggression and German engineering.

Q: What was the occasion where the Audi R8 was celebrated?

A: The retirement party of the Audi R8 took place during Monterey Car Week, commemorating its 15-year legacy as a German supercar.

Q: How did Frank Lamberty react to seeing the Audi R8 in action?

A: Watching the Audi R8 V10 zoom past him at Laguna Seca reignited Lamberty’s excitement, prompting him to share insights about the car’s design elements and racing heritage.

Q: What did Frank Lamberty sketch during the event?

A: Lamberty sketched a representation of his visionary design on a small napkin, encapsulating the essence of the Audi R8 and its significance in automotive history.# Article Headline: Unveiling the Design Journey of the Iconic Audi R8 with Chief Designer Marc Lamberty


Exploring the intricate design process behind the legendary Audi R8 with Marc Lamberty, the visionary chief designer who sculpted its iconic silhouette.

The Evolution of Design Lines

Lamberty delved into the R8’s design essence by refining its three primary lines, drawing inspiration from Porsche, Ducati, and eagles. The horizontal line, defining the car’s profile from front to back, features arches for the wheel wells. The inverted “C” line shapes the cockpit, reminiscent of Bugatti, while the vertical B-pillar line birthed the distinctive side blade.

From Napkin Sketches to Reality

With a humility only artists possess, Lamberty rejuvenated the original lines on a napkin, infusing subtle details indicating the placement of taillights, headlights, and the roofline. This refined silhouette formed the foundation of the R8’s design, enriched with his artistic touch.

A Legacy Captured in a Moment

After a heartfelt signing of the napkin, a shared photo, and witnessing the R8’s prowess on the track, Lamberty and the author embarked on a track experience in separate R8s. This marked the celebration of Lamberty’s pivotal design, a deeply emotional moment.

Embracing the Culmination

At the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Lamberty’s joy and humility shone brightly as he engaged with enthusiasts and owners, epitomizing a designer deeply connected to his creation and community.


The journey through the creation of the Audi R8 with Marc Lamberty showcases the fusion of artistry and automotive design, culminating in a masterpiece that resonates with enthusiasts worldwide.


1. Who is Marc Lamberty?

Marc Lamberty is the chief designer behind the iconic design of the Audi R8, renowned for his meticulous attention to detail and artistic flair.

2. What are the key design elements of the Audi R8?

The Audi R8 features three main design lines inspired by Porsche, Ducati, and eagles, contributing to its distinctive profile. These lines include the horizontal line defining the car’s length, the inverted “C” outlining the cockpit, and the vertical B-pillar line giving rise to the side blade.

3. How did Marc Lamberty refine the design of the Audi R8?

Lamberty revisited the original design lines on a napkin, adding subtle details to enhance the placement of key elements such as taillights, headlights, and the roofline. This meticulous process resulted in a refined silhouette that captures the essence of the Audi R8.

4. What was the significance of the design celebration at the track?

The track experience symbolized the culmination of Lamberty’s design journey, allowing him and the author to experience the essence of his creation firsthand and celebrate the legacy of the Audi R8.

5. How did Marc Lamberty engage with enthusiasts at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance?

Lamberty’s genuine joy and interaction with enthusiasts and owners at the event highlighted his passion for design and personal connection to the Audi R8 community, reflecting his enduring legacy in the automotive world.

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