There is not only the electric propulsion in the concept of sustainability, for Audi. For the new A3 – the world premiere will take place at the Geneva Motor Show, from 5 to 15 March – the Ingoldstadt house has chosen to implement a new technique that allows the recycling of up to 45 1.5-liter plastic bottles to create the seats . only the initial step of a trend that in the future will bring all the textile upholstery of the Audi models – from A1 to A8 – to be created with recycled materials. Following the example of what happens in fashion, where jewelry, clothes or accessories (including designer labels) are increasingly made using recycled PET bottles. And also in the furnishings, there are numerous products that arise from residues of other processes such as shreds of paper, plastic bottles and wood shavings.

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On the new A3, up to 89% of fabrics consist of thermoplastic resin bottles reused and transformed into yarn through a refined process. The result? Fabrics that from a visual and tactile point of view ensure the same quality standards as classic coverings. To the 45 bottles used for the seats, another 62 are added to the carpet. The sustainability of the passenger compartment further emphasized by other components produced by making use of residual materials: for example the soundproofing and vibration damping inserts, the mats and the side surfaces of the boot. Within the different set-up lines, the recycled fabric coverings form the basis of the offer and provide side panels in imitation leather.

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We are at the beginning of a great challenge. In the case of seats, for example, the challenge represented by the lower fabric, which is currently tied to the upper material by means of an adhesive. We are working to replace the latter with a recyclable polyester solution – says Ute Grnheim, responsible for the development of textile materials at Audi AG -, the near horizon to produce coatings with pure recycled materials, destined for further re-use so as to give life to a virtuous circle. But we are not far from a formidable goal that we set ourselves a few years ago: the textile upholstery of all Audi ranges must be entirely made of recycled materials.

February 26, 2020 (change February 26, 2020 | 16:11)

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