Ingolstadt - A top Audi executive has urged a design overhaul following criticism that the brand is making “look-alike” cars that differ only in their lengths.

“I've heard heard tangible criticism from some markets and in the case of certain models we are still getting there,” said development chief Wolfgang Duerheimer in an interview with Germany's Auto, Motor und Sport magazine.

“In future I will join forces with our designers to ensure that the various model ranges can be more readily distinguished from each other,” said Duerheimer.

The company's mid-range A4, A6 and range-topping A8 share many styling elements and a stronger family resemblance than comparable models from BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

“Naturally an A8 customer must find features which set his car apart from an A4 or an A6,” said the Audi executive.

He urged in-house designers to be bolder and more experimental whilst at retaining what he called Audi's bechmark “design precision”.

Audi interiors are known for restrained upmarket ambience rather than opulent features. Duerheimer said designers could learn from luxury makers Bentley and Bugatti, both owned by Audi's parent company Volkswagen. -Sapa-dpa