Audi exclusive – Equipment made-to-measure
A world full of individual ideas. For customers who want to express their own particular individuality, quattro GmbH offers an exceptionally multifaceted range of choices. Be it paintwork, leather or trim; bodywork, wheels or interior – when it comes to the individualization of cars, quattro GmbH offers the greatest selection in the competitive field with the Audi exclusive program.
For the exterior, there are around 100 paint colors and a whole series of design packages adapted specifically for each individual model range. These also include the Offroad packages for the Audi Q3 and Q5. Customers that set even greater store by the expression of their own particular individuality can order the exterior paintwork in a color entirely of their choosing that is then mixed specifically for them. For the Audi R8 and other models, there are also a number of matte paint finishes available for a spectacular visual effect. The range of alloy wheels – one of quattro GmbH’s best sellers – is growing continually and extends all the way to a 21-inch wheel with a titanium-style finish.
The interior program consists of 16 interior colors, two leather qualities, Alcantara and nine carpet tones. Almost every one of the seats can be individually configured and accentuated with contrasting stitching. There is also a free choice of leather color. quattro GmbH offers exclusive trim elements to match the choice of leather – in piano lacquer, metal and fine wood veneer.
New to the range is the Beaufort aluminum/wood trim, which combines black wood with aluminum to create a highly exclusive interior look-and-feel. For the larger models, the Audi exclusive program offers a range of fine finishes for the headliner and dashboard; features available for the A8 flagship include a coolbox, folding tray table and gimbal-mounted reading lights in the rear.
In fall 2009, quattro GmbH launched its first limited special edition under the label Audi exclusive concept. The Audi Q7 V12 TDI with 368 kW (500 hp) was painted in pearlescent Ipanema Brown, a shimmering finish that changes tone between brown and bronze. Its two-tone leather upholstery had the seats and door panels clad in alabaster white, and the instrument panel and center tunnel in chestnut brown. The trim elements were made from American walnut, with inlays in smoked oak. The floor of the luggage compartment and the back of the rear-seat backrests were also clad in this veneer.
This was followed in fall 2012 by the SQ5 TDI Audi exclusive concept with 230 kW (313 hp); its paintwork in Ara Blue crystal effect conveys a striking impression of depth. The interior is one of powerful contrasts – the upholstery is in black with accents set by white stitching and the center panels clad in woven leather. The headliner and door inserts, on the other hand, are finished in brilliant snow white. The trim elements are made from ash veneer, with its grain powerfully accentuated using a special manufacturing process.
The A8 L W12 Audi exclusive concept continues this line. The interior of the Audi flagship, powered by 368 kW (500 hp), is dominated by cognac leather from Italian furniture specialist Poltrona Frau and crafted to create an especially soft, even, natural finish. The trim elements are made from natural olive ash, its grey-brown hue harmonizing perfectly with the granite grey piping on the seats. The palette of optional equipment extends all the way to the luxurious reclining chair. For the exterior, Audi recommends the Monsoon Grey Metallic paint finish.
Audi exclusive – Leather craftsmanship
Quality to meet the highest demands. The range of leather on offer from Audi exclusive is virtually boundless in its choice. Every single piece of leather possesses highly emotional qualities and every seat cover is crafted with maximum precision.
The range of leather from Audi exclusive offers an almost unlimited choice of qualities, colors, threads, perforations, cording, piping, designs, embossing and stitching. Every piece of leather possesses highly sensual qualities – as a natural material, leather is emotional and individual in its structure, its feel and its smell.
The leather that quattro GmbH uses for the interiors of its cars comes primarily from agricultural livestock in central Europe. The supplier of the seat covers must fulfill a strict catalogue of quality criteria. Specialists from Audi Quality Assurance examine all the leather types in a lab. In dozens of tests, they must show consistency in their tensile properties, where they may possibly begin to tear, how fire-proof they are, how they withstand UV light and which odors and emissions they release.
Even during the tanning process – the first step prior to coloring – there are no chrome salts involved. 20 years ago, Audi was a pioneer in the automotive industry when it banned this chemical that is commonly used in leather for shoes and clothing. Enormous care is also taken in the further processing of the premium quality grades of this natural material. In the case of the fine nappa leather, which is standard in most variants of the Audi R8, mechanical handling and so-called dressing – the coating that seals the pores and makes the surface more resistant to wear – is kept to a bare minimum. The leather is natural, breathable and supple – in a word: premium.
The roughly six square-meter surface of a hide can be divided into three quality zones. quattro GmbH accepts only the top one – a layer more than a millimeter thick that usually always comes from the area around the center of the back. The structure of the fibers in this area is particularly even and firm, while tears or scars caused by injuries, parasites or warts are rare. When cutting the individual parts – which is done sometimes with metal blades in a stamping machine and sometimes under high water pressure – craftsmen are meticulous in their search for defects. Upholstering a full set of seats usually requires four hides.
The highest standards are also applied to stitching the leather parts. Only straight seams, such as the diamond pattern on the center panels, are sewn using partly or fully automatic machines. All curved seams – which are the vast majority of them – are sewn by hand. Experienced craftswomen apply a keen eye and sure hand with the aid of industrial sewing machines equipped with special needles. The finished covers are completely free of creases, even in tight radii such as those on the side cushions of sports seats. The stitching is extremely precise, even and parallel – deviations of even a millimeter are not tolerated.
Designers from Audi and quattro GmbH are constantly working together with their suppliers on new types of leather, designs and processing techniques. On the RS sports seats, for example, they have now succeeded in removing most of the laminations – the foam and cotton strips attached to the back of the leather. This is good for the leather and also saves weight. Top quality never stands still and certainly does not accept compromise.