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Three FC Bayern Munich stars come face to face with the Audi Q4 e-tron. Instantly impressed by its features, they instinctively begin using the voice control and new steering wheel functions. This makes sense — because the video shoot is all about intuition.

Copy: Jan Strahl - Photo: Jules Esick Reading Time: 7 min

Bayern Munich players Lucas Hernández, Alphonso Davies and Leon Goretzka (from left) and the Audi Q4 e-tron. Bayern Munich players Lucas Hernández, Alphonso Davies and Leon Goretzka (from left) and the Audi Q4 e-tron.

Two of the five main actors are on set well before the others. One sits patiently as the cameras repeatedly circle, or come in close for detail shots. Meanwhile, in the hall next door, the second waits quietly under a silk cover. The twin protagonists are two brand new Audi Q4 e-tron cars that have been taken to the film studio in Munich under the strictest secrecy. That’s because exactly what the car looks like and what it can do has not yet been revealed to the public. Unfortunately — apart from the technicians, lighting engineers and camera crew — at first there is no one else on set to admire the obvious assets of this new addition to the Audi e-tron fleet. Like all of the brand’s electric vehicles, the Audi Q4 e-tron translates the carmaker’s fundamental design idiom for the electric age. Its style-defining details make it clear to any onlooker that they are witnessing the future of mobility. Among its sophisticated features are the striking headlights. As the film crew use their pivoting camera arm to capture the e-tron’s unique Matrix LED headlights — which boast digital light signatures, dynamic light animations and dynamic turn indicators — they also time and again play with the fascinating light signatures that can be generated by the high-tech LEDs. These design features and the e-tron’s design idiom are combined with the signature athletic appearance of all Audi Q models.

Lucas François Bernard Hernández Pi, FC Bayern Munich player. Lucas François Bernard Hernández Pi, FC Bayern Munich player.
A black Audi Sport alloy wheel for the Audi Q4 e-tron. A black Audi Sport alloy wheel for the Audi Q4 e-tron.

However, the two vehicles are not the only stars today. The film is about the power of intuition. So, naturally, human performers are also needed to bring this concept to life. According to the Oxford Dictionary, intuition is “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.” Or as Bundesliga record goalscorer Gerd Müller once put it: “Once you start thinking, it’s already too late.” So who better to represent intuition than players from Germany’s record champions FC Bayern Munich? In their profession, Alphonso Davies, Leon Goretzka and Lucas Hernández must react intuitively, anticipate spontaneously, make decisions without engaging in conscious thought and act with lightning speed during both their daily training and the matches they play. This makes them the perfect protagonists for the Audi Q4 e-tron.

The rear of the Audi Q4 e-tron with LED lights viewed from the side. The rear of the Audi Q4 e-tron with LED lights viewed from the side.
FC Bayern Munich player Alphonso Boyle “Phonzie” Davies. FC Bayern Munich player Alphonso Boyle “Phonzie” Davies.

Quick decisions are crucial

Shortly before the Bundesliga stars arrive on set, the excitement rises palpably. The players have numerous commitments and appointments, so everything has been meticulously planned to avoid disrupting their tight schedules. The film crew is gathered around the three sets that have been prepared — one of which is covered in four square meters of artificial grass and looks like a mini football field — ready for action. Lucas Hernández, Leon Goretzka and Alphonso Davies will have to follow intricate choreography in darting between the different sets to film their scenes. “Despite the in-depth planning, intuition is exactly the right word to describe our shoot,” says Florian Röske, the video director. “The entire situation — the tight time frame, three players to coordinate and the technical demands of the shoot, with the vehicle’s highly reflective surfaces under the studio lights — it all means the team and I need to make quick, intuitive decisions. We need to respond instantly to any challenges that arise — rationally, but also instinctively.” An interesting parallel with football, where a lot can be tactically planned and rehearsed but something completely unexpected may happen at any moment. Players and team managers must also rely on their intuition.

In a film studio, a camera mounted on a pivoting, extendable camera arm is pointed at the Audi Q4 e-tron. In a film studio, a camera mounted on a pivoting, extendable camera arm is pointed at the Audi Q4 e-tron.

Pros not just on the pitch

In the end, almost everything goes according to plan. The three Bayern players are in a good mood. They are highly professional on set, too, remaining calm when asked to repeat certain actions or movements several times. This is also something learned in training, where set pieces are rehearsed and repeated over and over again. Most importantly, though, they instantly become best buddies with the Audi Q4 e-tron. All three are fascinated by the spacious interior. Leon Goretzka — 6’2″ tall and muscular with it — climbs in energetically, sits comfortably at the wheel with plenty of space on all sides, and swings back out of the driver’s door every bit as smoothly as he shakes off his opponents on the field. The Audi Q4 e-tron’s reputation for spaciousness is now safe among the three footballers. Alphonso Davies, also known as Phonzie by his teammates and fans, stands at the tailgate together with Leon Goretzka, looking at once fascinated and somewhat surprised at the generous size of the luggage compartment. Neither would have expected the space to fit so many sports bags. Director Florian Röske grabs the chance to use this situation for a scene: “Phonzie, you know the car, explain it to Leon.” No problem for the duo — situation anticipated, solution found, action taken. Davies gestures at the luggage compartment, Leon Goretzka nods with interest, both grin at each other. And erupt into spontaneous laughter at their acting talent. The director gets the nod of approval as their coach for the day.

Bayern Munich player Leon Christoph Goretzka kicks a football on the “mini pitch” in the studio. Bayern Munich player Leon Christoph Goretzka kicks a football on the “mini pitch” in the studio.
The Audi Q4 e-tron’s digital Matrix LED headlights.The Audi Q4 e-tron’s digital Matrix LED headlights.

A ball comes into play

Alphonso Davies sits at the wheel, enjoying the impressive interior design, the Audi virtual cockpit and the steering wheel’s pleasant haptic design featuring multifunction buttons with touch controls and shift paddles. In the meantime, Leon Goretzka is led into the adjacent room. There, teammate Lucas Hernández, who has swapped his elegant suit for a Bayern jersey, holds a football up in the air and then sets about performing dribbles and step-overs on the tiny pitch. Leon Goretzka was just looking at the Audi Q4 e-tron as though he would have loved to take it for a spin — now he is gazing longingly at the artificial leather ball in exactly the same way. He seems to be itching to get his feet on the ball again just an hour after the morning practice. But he’s still wearing a suit, so is escorted to the makeshift dressing room for the time being. As he steps back out in his jersey, socks and cleats, Lucas Hernández is already looking over at him with a mischievous smile. “Come on, let’s play” shouts the French international to his colleague as he juggles the ball. For a moment, they look at each other with a glint in their eyes. They could be twelve-year-old boys who just want to grab the ball and run to the nearest football field. Again, the situation erupts into laughter. The two players’ high-five each other and Leon Goretzka takes up the position on the tiny patch of green. At last, his foot is back on the ball.

The Audi Q4 e-tron with a plethora of spotlights and cameras in the studio.The Audi Q4 e-tron with a plethora of spotlights and cameras in the studio.

It’s in the can

The shoot runs smoothly and highly professionally. The two Audi Q4 e-tron cars and the footballers all cut a fine figure and show off their technical skills. There is just one brief moment when Alphonso Davies, Lucas Hernández and Leon Goretzka become confused. An instruction from the director goes against their natural instincts. The scene being filmed is set in a stadium tunnel before kick-off. The players stride resolutely down the tunnel, absorbed in their roles. Outside, an opponent awaits defeat. Yet because the camera arm can’t keep up with the athletes’ energetic stride in the small studio space, Röske calls out to the players: “Please slow down.” And after a second, still too speedy attempt: “A bit slower, please.” Surely never before have FC Bayern Munich players strolled through a stadium tunnel at such a leisurely pace. On the third attempt, the actors even overcome the challenge of ignoring their intuition with flying colours, before departing the film set (back at their usual speed) and rushing off to their next appointments. The shoot is in the bag, the director announces: “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a wrap!”. And the two Audi Q4 e-tron cars are once again draped in their silk covers. Fortunately, not for too long. After the world premiere, everyone will be able to appreciate the features of this premium electric SUV in the compact class and — like our Bayern Munich stars — marvel at its design, interior and technical highlights, or take a test drive. Before making a rationally thought-out or entirely intuitive decision.

The Audi Q4 e-tron and the stars of Bayern Munich in a film about the power of intuition

Der Audi Q4 e-tron und die Stars des FC Bayern München in einem Film über die Kraft der Intuition.