The first-ever all-electric SUV from Audi is subtle and silent both in how it sounds, and the statement it makes. For the e-tron, Audi didn’t go for the quirky compliance car theme that we can find in everything from the BMW i3 to the Honda Clarity. Instead, it’s looking to tastefully blend into the crowd.
There’s no denying that buyers for premium electric SUVs might also be similar to the crowd that cares about their environmental impact in more ways than just driving. That can include the use of sustainable, recycled, or upcycled materials for vehicle interiors that would fit with folks who enjoy a vegan lifestyle, and it seems that Audi is listening.
"We’ve had some customer requests for that. And definitely moving forward, we’re looking at all sorts of new materials, both for inlays, and trims, seats, and things like that are more environmentally friendly," Audi e-tron product manager Matt Mostafaei told Motor1.com in an exclusive interview.
Gallery: Audi e-tron, official photos
Just how would such an interior look? Things like fish nets and recycled materials might portray images of messy textures and virtue signalling, but like Audi’s approach with the e-tron electric SUV, it aims to normalise such actions, and not necessarily gratify them.
"If you remember our e-tron GT debut, it had a fully recycled, fully vegan interior," Mostafaei continued. "We used fish nets and things like that in the car. So that kind of shows where we’re looking and where we’re headed in terms of sustainability in the interior."
Even though sustainability is a goal, sourcing the materials could be a new challenge for Audi. However, whatever the sustainable material might be, Mostafaei attests that it would need to live up to Audi’s standards and expectations, like any other material.
"If we ever offered a material like that, I think it would be safe to say it would meet customer demand."