Audi Can Now Tattoo Your Car

Well, that's a contemporary way of putting it.

We're no strangers to customization. Many times, manufacturers accept wishes from their customers that add a personal flair to their unique car from the factory. We've seen it in a variety of ways from Paint to Sample Porsche 911s to ultra-luxo Koenigsegg Regeras with made-to-order themes. But those are out of the price range for most of us, aren't they? Audi has innovated a new method for personalized touches, etching in symbols to your car's paint. 

Audi looks to make this a unique touch for customers.  Professor Dr. Hubert Waltl, Member of the Board of Management for Production at AUDI AG, says “The method of partial matting is an excellent example of the flexibility of our production. Being able to implement individualization in normal series production is one of the aims of our smart factory." Customers may designate special symbols for etching, ranging from business logos to family crests, to make their Audi their own.

The process is more advanced than you may think. Whereas you may have seen glass etching performed from a twenty-something's basement on YouTube, Audi makes the chore a bit more technical -- okay, a lot more technical. A blasting system sprays material onto the paint, engraving ever-so slightly. It cuts into the lacquer just enough to make a mark that's only a few thousandths of a millimeter deep, which Audi claims to be ten times thinner than a human hair. “With this process, we modify the brilliance of the paintwork and the intensity of its sheen. Light hitting the surface is then reflected diffusely by the individualized surface areas. This makes it appear matt,” explained project manager Dr. Erhard Brandl.

While this may not be earth-shattering news, it's neat to see a manufacturer taking an approach that connects customers to their cars. This is something that isn't restricted to the super-rich, making you a VIP without having to fork over any limbs in the process. This feature is expected to expand throughout the many of Audi's models, so if you're custom ordering one any time soon, keep it in mind!