Highlights inside the new A3 include decorative trim strips in the instrument panel and in the doors. Audi offers them in plastic and aluminum. A new innovation that customers can now select is an inlay in 3D glass look. Its complex construction redefines the limits of what is feasible.
Glass was excluded as a material for use in the interior, not least due to considerations about its weight and safety, but its appearance has now been perfectly duplicated in a process that is so far unique. The first work step is to imprint multiple layers of polycarbonate film on both sides of the trim part. This multiple printing process is responsible for the later 3D effect. The imprinted film is reformed by vacuum deep drawing, a process that must not introduce any distortions in the imprinted pattern.
Afterwards, the molded part is backsprayed with a substrate material to ensure maximum precision in its fit to the vehicle. Then the decorative side is oversprayed with a five millimeter (0.20 in) thick, highly-transparent plastic layer. This amplifies the 3D effect and produces an extraordinary glass look. The challenge here is to always execute the overspray so that the part is completely free of bubbles and defects.
The finished trim strip is painted with a UV-curing clearcoat that is invisible to the customer; this guarantees maximum resistance to scratches, and it also makes the trim piece resistant to aggressive chemicals such as those that certain cleaning agents may contain.
This elaborate construction method assures a high-end surface and uniform appearance over the entire life of the vehicle.
The equipment, data, and prices specified refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.