Audi Goes Leather-Free With New Compact All-Electric SUV

Plastic bottles sub for leather in Audi’s most sustainable electric SUV to date.

German luxury auto brand Audi has launched its most affordable 100 percent electric SUV with a fully leather-free interior. Actors Olivia Wilde and Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page unveiled the new Q4 e-tron SUV during an online streaming event earlier this month.

“Progress is daring to do better,” Wilde said in a video spot for the brand.

“Progress means thinking outside the box and cracking open the paradigm. Understanding that the reality you’re presented with is not necessarily one that you need to be constrained by. So progress is the ability to recognize the potential for change,” the actress and activist said.

“It’s worth it to make changes. To improve this society, this planet. Anything we can do, we really should be doing it,” Wilde said.

Page compared his sustainability work to a “love letter” to the planet. “I think the way to drive progress for mankind would probably be to listen better, to listen more, to listen with humility.”

According to Audi, the plug-in compact SUV will be priced between £40,750 and £65,070 ($55,000 to $90,000), making it one of the brand’s more affordable electric trucks. It boasts 170 horsepower and a range of more than 200 miles per charge on the 52 kWh battery; the range extends to 316 miles with the 77kWh battery.

“The compact SUV has long been the go-to model type for many drivers. Our new Q4 e-tron models combine attractive prices, impressive charging performance and the potential to travel in tranquil comfort for well over 300 emission-free miles between stops,” Andrew Doyle, Director of Audi UK, said in a statement.

“They are paragons of good design and space-efficient packaging and standard bearers for the wider integration of fully electrified drivetrains across our range. They make the case for switching to sustainable premium mobility more clear-cut than ever.”

Like other luxury car manufacturers such as Jaguar and Volvo, switching to electric motors is only part of the sustainability push. Audi is also making the SUV’s interior more sustainable, with a focus on recycled materials, including plastic bottles. The new Q4 e-tron will come with a leather-free option featuring the recycled polyester micro-fiber material Dinamica. It’s made from 45 recycled polyester from textile waste and plastic bottles.

The truck’s interior trim is also going sustainable with Pulse cloth upholstery in all options. “Up to 50 percent of the textile used for the Pulse material is derived from the bottles, which are transformed into yarn in an elaborate procedure that yields the same quality standards in terms of look and feel as conventional textile upholstery,” Audi said of the launch.

“A new lease of life is given to 26 1.5-litre plastic bottles to create a set of seats with this upholstery.”

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