Reimagining luxury

A new approach to interior design and finish make a bold statement in the new Audi e-tron GT.

Stunning interiors, luxurious materials all beautifully finished – but not from the materials you might first imagine.

15 February, 2021

Audi has developed quite the reputation for some of the best interiors in the luxury segment

Audi has an enviable reputation for design, engineering and performance that goes right back to the company’s origins. When it comes to motorsport, the brand is synonymous with innovation at the highest level and effectively rewriting the history books, whether that be on the world rally stage or at the 24 hours of Le Mans – or indeed any number of other motorsport disciplines.

In terms of stunning design the brand likewise boasts any number of classics, from the timeless Avus design study to the modern classic that is the TT or the R8 and now of course the Audi e-tron GT.

But aside from specific models that standout along the brand’s impressive timeline, Audi has developed quite the reputation for some of the best interiors in the luxury segment. Clever design, beautifully finished with the finest materials and using the very best craftsmen and women in the business. Functional, ergonomic, brimming with technology  and supremely comfortable, Audi interiors, from the entry models through to the top luxury examples like the flagship Audi A8, have long received the seal of approval from customers and critics alike.

Now, with the unveiling of the e-tron GT, Audi has taken another giant step in the evolution of its interiors, introducing a raft of sumptuous materials and finishes that are derived from recycled materials yet without sacrificing quality, feel or finish.

This striking new model will be offered with a leather-free design package, where the sport seats plus with 14-way adjustment are upholstered either with a combination of artificial leather and the Kaskade material or with a mixture of artificial leather and a microfibre material called Dinamica. 

Recycled materials are used in both cases, using polyester fibres that were once old plastic bottles, or textiles, or residual fibres from selvages – the hard edge on woven fabric that stops it unravelling. 

This style of upcycled upholstery was first seen in production on the latest iteration of the Audi A3 Sportback, but Audi has showcased stunning interiors using alternative materials for some time in various design studies – this AI:ME or AI:TRAIL to name two recent examples.

But the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT take the very idea and indeed execution of recycled and sustainable interiors to new heights, which is of course very much in keeping with their sustainability mantle.

The Kaskade upholstery is reminiscent of natural fibres such as wool, and each upholstery set uses as many as 119 recycled plastic bottles and sports a seam design that is based on the look of the Singleframe. 

The Dinamica material on the other hand is similar to Alcantara which has long been used in top shelf Audi interiors.

That’s not to say that high-quality leather upholstery is a thing of the past though. The upholstery of the sport seats pro is made of a combination of two types of leather, with the RS design package comprising microfibre material on the cowl of the instrument panel carrier, the steering wheel, and the centre console trim, with red or grey stitching adding highlights. 

The e-tron GT takes the very idea and indeed execution of recycled and sustainable interiors to new heights

Each of the interior treatments offered for the e-tron GT or RS e-tron GT are stunning

The carpet on the floor and the floor mats are made from Econyl in both of the new e-tron GT models and is 100-percent recycled nylon fibres from fabric and carpet remnants, or even from old fishing nets.

But despite being sourced from production waste and other repurposed materials, the quality for which Audi is so well known is never compromised. All of the materials used in the interior of the e-tron GT are processed to factory-level quality. 

Other natural materials are also used to great effect. The large application area on the instrument panel is painted in graphite grey or palladium silver (on the RS model ) as standard, with open-pore walnut wood decor or silk matt carbon available as an alternative. 

Each of the interior treatments offered for the e-tron GT or RS e-tron GT are stunning, but the effect of these new materials and the way they have been used in these groundbreaking cars is especially exciting for future Audi models. The very idea that luxury in a vehicle meant the use of only certain materials and finishes has been very successfully challenged and effectively debunked. That sumptuous, luxurious feel is still very much present, and visually the finish is as beautiful as anything the brand has done. But the fact that so many of the materials have come from other sources and repurposed, opens up a whole realm of new possibilities for the future. It seems, it’s not only the design and the drivetrain of the Audi e-tron GT models that points to the future.