words: Troy Sicotte, photos: George Achorn
This story originally ran in the Winter 2018 issue of the Audi Club North America quattro quarterly print magazine. In order to subscribe to quattro quarterly, join the Audi Club North America HERE.
We’ve all seen them on Instagram, earning an eager double-tap: Amazing hues of paint not seen on your everyday Audi with interiors featuring custom-looking two-tone leathers, stitching and piping on just about every interior surface. You should know these creations are available through your local Audi Dealership through a program called Audi exclusive.
The Audi exclusive program is available through dealers across the country. It enables the buyer to select from dozens of exterior paint colors, interior leathers, carpets and headliners, various inlays and countless combinations of stitching patterns and colors. It really allows one to create a one-of-a-kind Audi. For enough money, through a program called paint to sample, one can even send Audi a color-swatch to match.
Some dealers really get behind this program in offering it to customers. Some, like Audi Pittsburgh, take it a level higher and order vehicles for inventory in unique color combinations. This separates their store from other dealerships in their region, offering clients something exclusive and so turn-key that they can drive it home that day. It can mean the difference in having one of 10 Q5s on your street or having a one-of-one creation that you won’t see on your commute, no matter the city.
Patrick McCulloch, Service Advisor for Audi Pittsburgh was kind enough to give us some insight into why they get behind Audi exclusive more than most dealers. He states, “Most of our staff here at Audi Pittsburgh are very passionate Audi enthusiasts. It makes us, as brand ambassadors, excited to have these special one-of-a-kind cars at our facility. In addition, having these cars here in our showroom generates a lot of excitement for our customers that come in and see an Audi that isn’t black, white, or grey. It’s a program many are not aware of. Overall, it showcases Audi in a way most haven’t imagined or witnessed.”
Audi Pittsburgh ramped up this program about two years ago, and since then, usually has about six Audi exclusive cars in stock at any given time. It’s been successful, selling about 10 of these custom build cars per year.
McCulloch continues, “Having these cars here so customers can see what is possible helps get their creative juices flowing, especially the avid Audi enthusiast who wants to pick out every detail of their new car.”
As of the writing of this article, Audi Pittsburgh had six Audi exclusive builds in stock with a Q7, S7 and S8 taking the cake for this writer.
The 2017 Q7 3.0T is outfitted with the top-of-the-line Prestige package, and it features no-cost Night Black exterior paint with extensive Audi exclusive interior package including Alabaster White Valcona leather seating, contrast black stitching, and two-tone Fine Nappa leather adorning the controls in black/alabaster and floor mats in black with alabaster leather piping. This interior package adds $8,550 to the MSRP. Other notable options include the luxury package with an Alcantara headliner and soft-close doors. The Titanium-black optic package that replaces the exterior chrome with shiny black awesomeness completes the black-out exterior motif, resulting in a Q7 that would certainly suit a Steelers fan or even a Steeler himself in need of a tailored family hauler.
The 2017 S7 Prestige is adorned in Audi exclusive Racing Blue metallic that adds $3,900 to the MSRP. A warm and inviting Cognac/Saddle Brown interior with Valcona leather seating, contrast stitching and black/saddle brown Fine Nappa leather controls. Rounding off this warm interior theme is Layered Walnut wood inlays. The interior package adds $10,200 to the MSRP for a total of $15,100 in Audi Exclusive options. This S7 is likely one of a kind.
Lastly, a 2017 S8 plus is showcased in Prism Silver Crystal effect. This color may sound familiar since it was available as an optional paint color on the late B8.5 RS 5. It’s a paint that gets more interesting the more you look at it, and is set off against a Black-Optic exterior package and an interior that adds a sporty flair to this otherwise most opulent of Audis: Black Valcona leather gets the Audi Design selection with red-twill accented carbon fiber inlays, piano black shifter and Arras Red contrast stitching throughout. The Audi Exclusive package adds Fine Nappa Leather controls and black floor mats with black leather piping and Arras Red stitching for a total of $4,200. Rounding out the options on this 605-horsepower beast is the Dynamic package that adds a carbon fiber rear lip spoiler, ceramic brakes, a higher 190 MPH speed limiter and sport exhaust with black tips.
Though it may seem expensive, the results of the Audi exclusive program cannot be replicated in the aftermarket inexpensively or even for the same money. In a world where “color change” vinyl wraps are costing $5,000-10,000, the $3,900 for a custom hue of paint seems like a bargain, especially when you consider that Audi has to disrupt the production line to accommodate the request.
For more information, contact your local Audi Dealer and ask for the Audi Exclusive program specialist.
2841 West Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15216