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New interior design philosophy
View of the interior of the Audi Q6 e-tron.

New interior design philosophy

Audi is presenting a new interior design for the first time in the Q6 e-tron. Technology and aesthetics are firmly oriented towards the needs of the occupants as never before. Four values characterise the new interior design philosophy: Human Centric, Digital Stage, Visual Clarity, Material Driven.

Copy: Bernd Zerelles – Photo: Robert Fischer, AUDI AG Tempo di lettura: 7 min

Audi designers Ramon Bäurle and Mattijs van Tuijl invite our reporter into the new Audi Q6 e-tron. They form spaces with their arms, point to this detail and that surface, describe backgrounds, rave about the car – and it becomes very clear: they are mighty proud of this new generation of interior design that they have created with the Audi Design interior team. Mattijs van Tuijl, Creative Coordinator Interior: “Everything says ‘interior as a living space’, you instantly feel welcome and in good hands. This is Human Centricity, a design that is tailored to the occupants like never before. Now we are bringing to series production what we showed as inspiration in the Audi grandsphere concept*: a new living space inside the car.” 

This is possible because the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE), on which the Audi Q6 e-tron is designed, enables more space in the interior. The windscreen is far forward, the floor inside is flat for easy entry and exit, the airy centre console at the front has many user-friendly storage compartments and the rear row of seats offers plenty of space. Ramon Bäurle, Designer Interior: “This new space calls for a new kind of architecture, i.e. how we functionally structure and organise the design of everything that surrounds us in the interior. Four core ideas determined the new interior design: Human Centric, Digital Stage, Visual Clarity, Material Driven. These four values stand for Audi’s new interior design philosophy. The new interior design is brought to series production for the first time in the Audi Q6 e-tron, but it will also be seen in later models.”

Audi designers Ramon Bäurle and Mattijs van Tuijl.
Digital design of the Q6 e-tron interior.

Human Centric means

The needs and wishes of the occupants were the starting point for the design of the new interior, its architecture and its functions. The interior was designed around the occupants from the inside out. Both driver and front passenger are at the centre of the new interior architecture. Behind the steering wheel, this means a certain classic driver orientation, in which the architecture is centred to the front with a sporty driver axis typical of Audi. Mattijs van Tuijl: “The architecture very much surrounds the driver’s position. All functionalities are within easy reach for all body sizes. And all the digital content shown on the curved display and the touch functions are also oriented towards this central space.” The front passenger seat has its own display integrated into the dashboard design, which was specially designed for this position. Passengers can interact with it exclusively.

Screens in the interior of the Audi Q6 e-tron.

Digital Stage

In the Digital Stage, the Audi designers have summarised all the new technical content in the Audi Q6 e-tron. The large, curved display constitutes the centrepiece of the Digital Stage. It combines the Audi virtual cockpit with the MMI touch display in a panoramic display. Mattijs van Tuijl: “The free-standing display is a large sculpture. Its outline is typical Audi, inspired by the Audi Singleframe of the exterior design. It looks as if it is floating, valuable, with edges and spans in the lines – it is our diamond, the centrepiece of the Digital Stage.” The display with its curved shape is explicitly oriented towards the driver, but of course passengers also have the opportunity to look at it. However, a separate display has been created for them in the new interior, on which they can view their own content – independently of the content shown on the curved display. Passengers can select their content individually, have the same apps available as the driver and can configure and move them freely for their display.

One special feature is the Active Privacy Mode with shutter technology. This allows occupants in the front passenger seat to watch films undisturbed on the road without distracting the driver. From their perspective, the view is restricted by means of a technical layer. Only when the vehicle is stationary is the view of the right-hand display technically unobstructed for those sitting on the left. This mode also allows passengers to support the driver from their command centre with digital functions, such as navigation. For example, passengers can select display content such as a restaurant and transfer it to the large, curved display for the driver.

Other digital elements in the Audi Q6 e-tron: the Smart Door Panel on the left-hand door, which combines and clearly locates many elements that are not operated so frequently or are automated anyway, such as the headlight control, seat memory, central locking or mirror settings. And the augmented reality head-up display on the driver’s visual axis, the image plane of which is tilted forward, giving the impression that the information displayed is floating directly in the vehicle’s environment. The Digital Stage is rounded off with the interaction light, which spans the interior and cockpit in a generous arc across the entire windscreen. It is not only a creative embrace, but also enriches the driving experience with light communication such as the welcome scenario, the visualisation of the dynamic indicator light or the charge level indicator.

The free-standing display is a large sculpture, our diamond, the centrepiece of the Digital Stage.

Mattijs van Tuijl

Designer Mattijs van Tuijl.
Drawing of the interior of the Audi Q6 e-tron.

Visual Clarity

A grand gesture welcomes the occupants into the new interior of the Audi Q6 e-tron. A clear, expansive horizontal design element, the so-called soft wrap, extends from one door across the dashboard and flows into the opposite door. As a continuous element, this elongated architecture calms the interior, creates a horizon in the interior design, surrounds the occupants with a sense of well-being, expresses comfort and at the same time appears spacious and very three-dimensional. A three-dimensionality that characterises the entire interior. Designer Ramon Bäurle: “As designers we can bring certain features to the fore and tidy up others in the background. This also ensures that not everything visually jumps out at you when you get into the car. We deliberately play with three-dimensionality to increase the sense of well-being in the interior.” For example, the dashboard is not a large, flat surface, but slim and wide with different levels. Spans give it strength, intelligently created light and shadow zones of the soft wrap emphasise the slim impression and open up the width of the room. Air vents are hidden in the shadows, very far forward in the control panel. This also breaks up the overall dimension and avoids a massive impression. Deliberately placed lighting emphasises the long lines in the interior, visually connects all elements and also brings a great deal of calm and clarity to the interior. The material of the interior and its structure are emphasised by targeted incidence of light or ambient lighting.

Interior and dashboard of the Audi Q6 e-tron.

Material Driven

“When we developed the new interior design philosophy, it was particularly important to us to focus even more strongly on the materials. For us, the Audi Q6 e-tron is not just about celebrating digitisation, but also about emphasising cosiness and comfort while achieving visual clarity through materials,” emphasises designer Ramon Bäurle. You could also say: Digitisation in a homelike ambiance, technology and precision embedded in high-quality and comfortable materials that create a feeling of cosiness. Materials are staged: Those that are close to the people in the vehicle are soft, with a flattering feel. All elements that you operate are black, elegant, with technical-looking glossy surfaces. This also helps to create this very clear and three-dimensional architecture of the interior. The prominent materials in the vehicle with the all-round soft wrap also open up a wide range of customisation options for customers. Light fabrics or dark, various woods, fine nappa leather, brushed aluminium, open-pored carbon, the Elastic Melange fabric made from 100 per cent recycled polyester or the Dinamica microfibre, also a recycled material – the combination options are more diverse than ever before to create a completely individual character for the interior of the new Audi Q6 e-tron.

Centre console of the Audi Q6 e-tron

For us, the Audi Q6 e-tron is not just about celebrating digitisation, but also about emphasising cosiness.

Ramon Bäurle

Digital design of two seats.
Designer Ramon Bäurle.
Audi A3

Sporty performance

The Audi Q6 e-tron model series has a completely newly developed modular drive system consisting of an electric motor, power electronics and transmission. The new electric motors require around 30 per cent less installation space and are 20 per cent lighter than the previous drives in the electric Audi models. They are also characterised by higher efficiency and high-power density.