While vegan leather is already a thing in the car industry, Audi plans to step up the game by offering upholstery made of PET.
The first model to get it will be the new generation A3. The compact car will feature up to 89 percent of its textiles made from recycled plastic, and it’s said to take up to 45 PET bottles with a 1.5-liter capacity to create the upholstery for one seat. Furthermore, another 62 PET bottles will be used for the carpet.
The recyclable material cannot be used to make the entire seat upholstery in the upcoming A3 yet, as “the lower layer of woven material, which is connected to the upper material with adhesive, is what poses the challenge”, explained the chief of the textiles division, Ute Gronheim. “We are working on replacing this with recyclable polyester. It is our goal to make the seat upholstery completely from unmixed material, so that it can be recycled again. We are no longer far away from this”, he added.
When it launches, likely in a few months, the new A3 will be available with three different material designs.
Expected at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show next week, the new A3 will be based on the MQB Evo platform, which supports electrification. It will sport an evolutionary design on the outside and an overhauled cabin, as well as the latest technology gear and safety systems. Topping the range will be the S3 and RS3 hot hatchbacks.