Audi interprets exclusivity in a sustainable way by dedicating multiple coatings made from recycled materials to a large part of the range from PET bottles, used fishing nets and plastic components. The suede is replaced by Dinamica microfiber, made of secondary polyester, guaranteeing the same quality, aesthetic and tactile standards. The Audi Sphere concepts, which anticipate the stylistic features and technologies of the brand’s future models, not only renounce animal skin, but also project wooden coatings into a new dimension, adopting a green approach from the very beginning of the raw materials.
Audi aims for a radical decarbonisation of the production cycle within three years. By 2025, the House of the Four Rings will complete the carbon neutral conversion of all plants. An objective already achieved at the factories in Brussels, Belgium, Győr, Hungary, and at the Böllinger Höfe site of excellence, in Germany, keeping under control all levels of the supply chain: from the origin of raw materials to production, from the phases of use to the end of life, paying particular attention to the recycling and reuse of components. Practices, the latter, which constitute the cornerstone of Audi’s sustainable approach to exclusivity, the maximum expression of which is today represented by the use of secondary or biological materials for the creation of the interiors of the cars, ranging from compact sedans to the Audi A8 flagship up to to the futuristic concepts of the sphere series.
Audi A3 Sportback: the first Audi with seats made from recycled yarn
The fourth generation of the Audi A3 Sportback has stood out since its debut in June 2020 for its sporty design like never before, the cockpit with marked digitization and for being the first model in Audi history to adopt upholstery made thanks to the recycling of PET bottles. PET is a plastic polymer that can be separated from the other materials it is combined with. A feature that favors its recovery. In the case of the Audi A3, two different fabric seat covers are available, with a percentage of recycled yarn up to 89%, set to grow to 100% in the near future. The technological challenge is represented by the overlapping of the layers, with the lower one bound to the upper one by means of an adhesive. Audi is committed to replacing this last layer with recycled polyester, so as to create fully recycled and recyclable single-material coatings, to be extended to the entire range.
Audi Q4 e-tron range: up to 27 components in secondary materials
The sustainable vocation of the compact Audi models was further underlined by the Audi Q4 e-tron and Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron, the threshold of access to the brand’s full electric offer, respectively introduced in June and October 2021. Both SUVs adopt multiple components made with recycled materials, including wheel arch frames and shells, floor coverings and aerodynamic spoilers at the wheels. Overall, 27 components consist of a significant percentage of secondary materials. In the future, additional plastic elements from chemical recycling will be added.
In the passenger compartment, recycled materials are mainly destined for soundproofing and anti-vibration coatings. The Interior Packages allow you to choose between leather finishes or to opt for the combination of leatherette and Dinamica microfiber. The latter visually and to the touch similar to suede, but largely (45%) made using recycled polyester obtained from PET bottles. The material obtained from reuse can count on the same qualitative, aesthetic and tactile standards of the classic fabric. For the seat upholstery of the Audi Q4 e-tron, 26 1.5-liter plastic bottles are recycled; 45 bottles for Audi A3.
Audi e-tron GT: cruelty free interior
Sportiness and sustainability are the keys to Audi exclusivity in the era of electric mobility. Audi e-tron GT, the Brand’s first electron touring car, by opting for the optional leather free package adopts a cruelty free approach, giving up animal leather upholstery in favor of combinations of imitation leather and Kaskade fabric or imitation leather and Dinamica microfibre. In both cases, recycled materials are used, primarily polyester fibers obtained from plastic bottles. The Kaskade fabric, whose seams evoke the look of the single frame, specifically recalls natural fibers such as wool. No less avant-garde is the construction of the floor carpet and floor mats in Econyl, a fiber obtained from the polyamide of used fishing nets.
Audi sphere concept: organic briar, wool and natural fibers
The cruelty free approach inaugurated by the Audi e-tron GT is shared by the Audi skysphere, Audi grandsphere and Audi urbansphere concepts which anticipate the stylistic features of the future models of the four rings and constitute the first expression of a Copernican revolution in the definition of design: from inside out. First of all, the lines and characteristics of the space around the passengers are defined, identified as the “sphere” of their needs, and only later the shapes of the bodywork. A strategy favored by technical highlights such as level 4 autonomous driving, electric propulsion and the “digital detox” trend: neither the instrumentation indicators nor the classic touch displays are visible in favor of cleaning the surfaces in briar, wool and fibers natural.
On the one hand, the Audi Sphere concepts do away with animal skin, on the other hand they project wooden upholstery into a new dimension. Specifically, the Audi grandsphere concept beech veneers come from organically grown or recycled, while the Audi skysphere concept roadster uses ecologically certified eucalyptus wood. A large part of the materials used for the interior of the Audi urbansphere concept, such as the hornbeam wood panels, also come from organic farming. The hornbeam plant allows the use of the entire stem, without waste and chemical additives. At the same time, the seat padding is in Econyl, while bamboo is used for the armrests and the rear area of the passenger compartment, which grows faster than conventional wood and is green-grown, without the addition of herbicides and pesticides.
Audi interiors: exclusivity is sustainable – MotoriNoLimits | Cars, F1, motors, tourism, lifestyles