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Color & Trim department

Materials at Audi

The Audi Color and Trim department is responsible for the carmaker's paintwork options as well as the interior platte and materials. A closer look at the these design elements only heightens their allure.

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Mysterious. Sturdy. Sporty. Strong.

Carbon. Carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, or CFRP as experts refer to it for short, is not only extremely tough but above all astonishingly light. Its specific weight is a mere 60 percent of steel’s. In its unfinished state, CFRP consists of tiny thread-like fibers which have a tensile strength of 4,500 megapascals—20 times stronger than a human hair. Laid or woven into mats, the material only attains its full strength when embedded in a special synthetic resin and subsequently heated. Audi uses CFRP in the interiors of various sporty cars. Notably, the Audi R8—the flagship of the four rings’ athletic stable—gets the carbon fiber treatment. Not only some of its larger exterior components are made of the material, but key pieces of interior trim are, too.

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Soft. Grippy. Sensual. Refined. Authentic.

Leather. Every seat cover, every interior panel crafted in leather is a one-of-a-kind piece—no two are alike. While this exclusivity is highly desirable, great care nevertheless goes into ensuring that every interior component fits perfectly with those around it. The hides used to make Audi leather upholstery are sourced primarily from Southern European bulls. Before being worked, the skins are subjected to more than 30 rigorous tests. Only then does the extremely gentle tanning process begin. Among other things, vegetable agents are used. These preserve the skins’ natural beauty while producing a material that is both robust and durable as well as emotionally engaging. Customers can choose from 16 leather colors as part of the high-end Audi exclusive equipment portfolio —a far broader palette than available with the standard options.

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Warm. Seductive. Unique. Premium.

Wood. As every tree has its own individual figures and grain, wood inlays give a car’s interior its very own unique stamp. As a matter of principle, however, Audi steers clear of tropical timbers. Instead, you can furnish your new car with woods ranging from timeless oak to exotics such as myrtle and tamo ash. As a rule, the trim for each vehicle comes from a single trunk or burl to ensure a sense of continuity between the various elements. The production of trims comprising two materials, such as the Audi exclusive aluminum/Beaufort wood black inlays, is an especially elaborate process. Five wood veneer layers and one aluminum sheet are laboriously glued together to form a block of the appropriate size. This is then sliced into 0.6-millimeter-thick leaves that are known as engineered veneers.

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Gorgeous. Luminous. Elegant. Captivating.

Paint. While Audi paintwork consists of four coats, altogether these are still thinner than a human hair. First, the body is primed to protect it from rust. Next comes the filler coat that evens out any irregularities. The third provides the visible color, while the fourth is a clear protective coat. Your chosen shade is created by mixing organic and inorganic pigments as well as other pigments to create effects such as pearl or metallic. All paintwork, including the clear protective coat, adheres to exacting standards that guarantee longlasting, age-resistant color intensity and brilliance. Thanks to the Audi exclusive program, the spectrum of exterior colors is now vastly wider. In addition to the 80 Audi exclusive shades, which are available across all model ranges, customers can now even have colors mixed to match a sample provided to the dealer—even if that particular hue is not part of the four rings’ extensive range.

 

 

Photos: Christian Hagemann

 

Audi R8 fuel consumption combined (in l/100 km): 12.4–11.8; CO₂ emissions combined (in g/km): 289–275, EU6. Where stated in ranges, figures for
fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and efficiency classes depend on wheels/tires used.

 

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