The identity of the model is not known at this point, but according to sources within Ingolstadt the vehicle will act as a sneak preview for the all-electric Q6 set to debut in production guise sometime in 2018. The concept bound to be shown this September at the Frankfurt Motor Show will actually be more about Audi’s developments in OLED technology as the mystery vehicle will come packed with organic light emitting diodes.
According to Volkswagen’s premium marque, the OLED tech is going to offer an unprecedented level of lighting homogeneity and each of the OLED units will feature two electrodes, with at least one of them being transparent. OLEDs come with a few very thin layers of organic semi-conductor materials and are “turned on” by a low DC voltage of 3-4 volts which lights up the layers to provide illumination.
It should be mentioned these layers are less than a 1,000th of a millimeter thick and have a color which depends on the light source’s molecular composition. OLEDs are flat light sources unlike LEDs for example which are point light sources and Audi mentions these organic light emitting diodes don’t require any cooling and are lightweight as well as very efficient taking into account OLEDs don’t need light guides, reflectors or other optical components.
Audi is already working on a production car with OLED taillights and that might be the next generation A8 due to go on sale in 2017. The Ingolstadt-based automaker mentions technology in this area is developing rapidly and in the near future they will be able to implement OLEDs in the brake lights as well as turn signals.
Audi isn’t the first premium automaker to take a stab at developing OLED technology as BMW is doing the same thing so it will be interesting which one will be the first to launch an OLED-packed production car.