It may be a compact car, but it is still an Audi.
The rear door trim panel for the Audi A1 is produced from a new polypropylene compound that doesn’t require painting for its low-gloss, soft-touch surface.
Audis are well known for the quality and craftsmanship of their interiors; as the Ingolstadt-based vehicle manufacturer prepared the compact—yes, compact—A1 for production, it needed to not only maintain its level of premium interior quality, but it had to be more . . . efficient.
A prime example of how this was achieved is the use of a new polypropylene (PP) compound for the A1 rear door panel rather than using something like a PC/ABS covered with a soft-touch paint.
Apparently, one of the issues with conventional PP compounds is that the gloss levels are too high, which, again, required painting so as to achieve a good matt surface characteristic.
But the Softell PP resins from LyondellBasell (lyondellbasell.com) overcome these concerns. According to Erik Licht, LyondellBasell’s global marketing manager for the Volkswagen Group, “The low level of gloss achieved with the use of Softell resins enables Audi to produce a door panel with the desired low light reflection. They have achieved their quality and performance requirements without the need for costly painting processes.”