Audi’s new partial matte paint technique allows unique designs, personalization

Audi puts partial matte paint into production

After Audi introduced a new technique to embed symbols within paint, the German automaker announced Monday it will put partial matte paint surfaces into production. 

Full matte paint jobs have been available for years, but this is the first time an automaker is putting partial matte painted surfaces into volume production. The first vehicle to take advantage of the matte finishes is the #2 special edition Q2 crossover. The brand’s patented process involves a beam roughing the paint’s final finish ever so slightly to create lettering, logos, or photos on the sheet metal.

A worker sticks a thin plastic template on the desired component for customization and the system blasts the area with a powder of crushed glass. Audi said the process removes just a few thousandths of a millimeter from the top layer of clear lacquer to create the matte finish. In the special edition Q2’s application, a pattern of crosses can be seen on the crossover’s sideblade on the D-pillar. The process takes about a minute. Audi noted each interior and exterior surface can be individualized with the new process.

Matte finished panel on Audi Q2

The special edition Q2 with the matte finish has been available for order in Germany since mid October, and Audi said more markets will follow. Motor Authority reached out to Audi for comment on U.S. availability and no decision has been made yet, a spokesman said. 

2017 Audi R8 with matte “Audi Sport” logo embedded on side blades

Audi first rolled out the partial matte finishes in 2016 with the R8 supercar. The “selection 24h” edition of the Audi R8 Coupe V10 plus included matte “R8” lettering on the carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic sideblades. At the time, the process was done by hand. It is now automated.

Partial matte surfaces are also offered  for the R8 through the Audi Exclusive personalization program. Customers can etch and embed any symbol into the painted surface on the R8 with the same technique used with the Q2 special edition.

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