Bigger isn't always better when it comes to grilles, according to the German carmaker.

Audi has pulled itself out of the battle of the front-end bulge, suggesting the way forward with its styling is to be smarter with grille design.

As the likes of Lexus, BMW, Toyota and Genesis (check out this G90 snout) chase greater road presence by making their grilles bigger, the head designer from Ingolstadt has told Car Throttle it's not about the "big mouth" anymore.

Instead, we can expect to see Audi playing around with colours, trims and body panels to make its cars stand out.

“When you paint the frame black, it looks bigger. When you paint the frame body colour, it looks smaller…there are a lot of things you can do architecture-wise to change that and we have a lot of good ideas for that,” said Andreas Mindt, Audi exterior design boss.

The start of that transition appears to be the e-tron GT concept (above) launched in Los Angeles. Without a hungry internal-combustion engine to feed, and aerodynamic efficiency coming into starker focus, the advent of mainstream electric vehicles will likely be one of the main drivers of change.

That could spell the death of the Singleframe grille that's come to define the brand's styling, with Mindt arguing the frame could disappear altogether.

"Maybe the border between grille and no grille will meld together - the frame is not like a border any more. Just think about what you can do in the future to make it meld together,” Mindt said.

“It would be interesting to see.”