New Audi A1: Individuality is the Key-Episode 8 - VIDEO FEATURE

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Ivo van Hulten describes the design process

Audi moves into subcompact segment for first time with A1

• The interior of the A1 offers an extraordinary range of creative options
• An intricate process: the new design of the air vents in the cockpit

Episode 8 in a multi-part video series on the design and production of the new Audi A1

INGOLSTADT - February 2, 2010: When a new car is introduced, everyone naturally wants to know what it looks like. The shape, the proportions, the color – especially when it comes to the exterior. But the interior also offers a lot of exciting details. With the Audi A1, the people who designed the interior concentrated on creating as many customizable elements as possible. One particularly distinctive example is the new design of the air vents in the control panel – which are constantly in the driver’s field of vision.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

“We imagined the control panel in the cockpit to be like an airplane wing with turbines,” said Ivo van Hulten, interior designer of the new Audi A1, as he described the design process. “Naturally, we’re building a car and not an airplane, but the first sketches of the air vents were created with this idea in our heads. And even at this early stage we were thinking about colors and materials. Our goal was to allow A1 drivers to be able to design the air vents according to their personal taste.”

Detailed sketches are crucial, as the concept must be presented to the design team. Only then can the next steps begin. Based on the drawings and virtual data, precise models are made out of clay. These often show small details, but they can also represent entire components in the interior or even the car itself.

“We reconstructed the control panel from clay and then fitted an aluminum component in the shape of the air vent into the clay. By repositioning it and modifying the size, we were able to specify the precise position,” van Hulten said. “The process is highly complex, and the A1 includes many such details. We were only satisfied when everything was perfectly harmonized.”

Along with the roof arch, which can be ordered in various colors, the interior of the A1 offers an especially wide range of elements whose color and material can be customized according to personal tastes.

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CLICK HERE to watch Episode 9: Brussels Automotive

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