Obituary: Pavel Hušek, Influential Audi Designer of the 1970s

We recently learned of the passing of Pavel Hušek on May 7 via the Car Design Archives. Hušek was a designer at Audi in the early 1970s and heavily influenced Audi design direction at a pivotal time during the brand’s rebirth. He joined Audi in 1973 and left in 1978.

There’s an interesting space in the world of car designers. While the spotlight usually focuses on heads of design, there is a level of designer who gets less fanfare but remains with pen in hand, creating the cars that roll out of factories. In as much, they may be more obscurely known, but they had incredible influence. They also imagine cars in their most original form. Pavel Hušek was one such designer.

One of the projects Hušek is credited with is the Audi 80 B2. He was lead designer on the project, an important evolution of Audi’s B-segment product where the somewhat underwhelming B1 would evolve as serious competitor to its German rivals with the B2… and one that would also spawn quattro be it the 80 quattro as first all-wheel drive sedan from Audi or eventually coupe variants that would see the Coupe GT and later ur quattro also emerge as derivatives.

While at Audi and Volkswagen, he also worked on the notchback Coupé version of the AO-based Audi 50 that would be sold as the Volkswagen Derby, and even a more exotic coupe variant as well. After leaving Audi, he founded his own independent studio in Ingolstadt where he continued to influence the automotive industry for brands such as BMW and Volvo.

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