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Paint descriptions and paintcodes

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veteran
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Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by veteran » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:49 am

Is there any known reason why VW should change the description of a vehicle's colour from when that colour was first used? I've needed to buy some touch-up paint - Nimbus Grey (metallic) for my 2017 Polo - which has paintcode LD7RL - but when ordering it from the local dealer I was told that, under 'D7R', their parts catalogue shows the colour as Pepper Grey. I queried it of course but the parts man insisted that that's what it is, going simply by 'D7R'. Obviously, the results could be disasterous if the two don't match. I've therefore had to order the touch-up paint on that basis.

Other than to cause utter confusion with owners, I can't see why VW would decide to change the colour description, can you? Incidentally, the full paintcode LD7RL is what's given on the label in the boot and in the vehicle's maintenance schedule booklet. And Nimbus Grey was the colour I understood the car to be from the very day I bought the vehicle and is shown in the original description for it.

As far as I'm aware, for the UK market, the only other grey produced in my vehicle in the 2015 - 2017 period has been Urano Grey.

Is it really true that the colour is defined totally by just the three centre characters of the code, and that the L's in the paintcode on the boot label are redundant?

Edit: Have subsequently conducted a number of searches on the Web regarding VAG Group paintcodes and have been unable to find any grey called Nimbus Grey for the yr-2017 Polo, or for any other of recent years. But I've found several websites where the code LD7R is identified as Pepper Grey. So, perhaps in 2017, VW's glossy brochures did call it Nimbus Grey but VW is, for some odd reason, now calling it Pepper Grey? As far as I've been able to determine, Pepper Grey was a Polo colour introduced in 2013.

Ricmondo
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by Ricmondo » Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:18 pm

Best of luck Vet, I’ve learnt from experience never to believe anything our shared local main dealer tells me.

veteran
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by veteran » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:34 pm

I'm now in possession of a touch-up edition of the Pepper Grey, having bought from the VW dealer the version that consists of a base colour and a separate phial of clear lacquer to go on top, both that you apply via a brush. Apparently, for some colours, there are water-based versions available. What I bought is unbelievably expensive stuff, at almost £14 for 9ml for each phial. That's about half a teaspoon-worth.

The best explanation I could get from the dealer was that sometimes VW Germany renames colours according to the territories in which the paint's sold. But why, I'd ask? Unless the original name - incidentally, in English in both instances - has proven misleading I can't see why VW would want to change it. The original Nimbus Grey obviously refers to a cloud-like grey, which admittedly lends no particular accuracy to it, but then neither does Pepper Grey, since peppercorns can come in a variety of colours, including black, white and even pink.

From what I myself found from doing some yet further research on VW car colour charts on the Web, Pepper Grey was a colour introduced by VW for some of their vehicles as far back as 2010 or thereabouts. It was assigned the core code D7R. But when the 6C Polo came along, they dropped the name Pepper Grey, replacing it by Nimbus Grey. And they kept the same paintcode, D7R. A different grey, Urano Grey, with a different paint code, was also assigned to the 6C so that customers had a choice in greys.

Some third-party paint sellers, I found, have the code D7R listed for both Pepper Grey and Nimbus Grey. I couldn't find an instance of any other colour where the same sort of duplication exists (though that doesn't mean that there aren't any others). Incidentally, I did wonder at one point whether Nimbus was a name for the metallic version, and that perhaps Pepper was for a pearl finish version, but the dealer has refuted that.

I've started using what I've bought. I've needed to touch in an area measuring about 1/8 inch x 1 inch. In garaging my Polo, there's only about 2 inches clearance on either side of my garage doorway and unfortunately it's impossible to see the exact position of the outermost parts of the car's wings when manouevring in and out, and on one occasion recently I caught the driver's-side wing on the door upright while backing out. The colour does appear to match okay but I won't know for certain till I've finished applying the several coats needed to rebuild the 'injury'. It needs to be allowed to dry fully between coats. Then there'll be the clear top-coat to apply. So, the job will take a day or more for me to complete.

So, thus far all seems well. But why VW has caused doubt and confusion by giving two different paint names the same code is quite beyond me. I thought the whole reason for having paint codes was to define the colour precisely, including the descriptive name. Seems I got it wrong. It could have been worse, I guess. At least it does actually appear that the tone of grey is, in practise, the same.

SRGTD
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by SRGTD » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:57 pm

Glad you got the correct colour Veteran.

It’s not just paint colours where VW give different names to the same part in different territories. They do the same with alloy wheel designs too. With the new Polo GTI, the design of the standard 17” wheels in the UK are known as ‘Parker’. In other countries, the exact same wheel design is known as ‘Milton Keynes’! On previous model Golf GTI’s (mk5 and 6), Monza design wheels were known as Huff’s in some other countries, and the mk7 Golf GTI Clubsport standard alloy wheel design is officially known as Quaranta in the UK and Belvedere elsewhere.

And back on the subject of paint colour; I’ve got a set of wheels on my car that are from the official VW accessories range. They are an anthracite grey colour, and VW can’t tell me what the paint code is for my wheels, even though they’re VW wheels!

veteran
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by veteran » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:12 pm

Gosh, what a mess! Makes you wonder whether VW has some ulterior motive for giving different names to the self same designs in different countries. Still, I suppose the very model names themselves have often been different across different countries for decades, haven't they?

SRGTD
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by SRGTD » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:16 pm

veteran wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:12 pm
Gosh, what a mess! Makes you wonder whether VW has some ulterior motive for giving different names to the self same designs in different countries. Still, I suppose the very model names themselves have often been different across different countries for decades, haven't they?
Yes, early Golfs were known as the Rabbit in some territories, and I think the mk1 Jetta was also known as the Fox.

Ricmondo
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by Ricmondo » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:41 pm

If anybody solves the mystery of the anthracite wheel paint code I’d really like to be copied into the answer.

albob
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by albob » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:06 pm

Just out of curiosity I did a search for the 2017 Polo brochure -- sure enough Nimbus Grey is listed as a £550 colour option.....

UK brochure ---- Nimbus Grey Metallic* U5
and from the French brochure ---- Gris Poivré [U5U5] D7R

veteran
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by veteran » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:37 am

Just out of curiosity I did a search for the 2017 Polo brochure -- sure enough Nimbus Grey is listed as a £550 colour option.....

UK brochure ---- Nimbus Grey Metallic* U5
and from the French brochure ---- Gris Poivré [U5U5] D7R


Yup, that's the extra I paid to have the Nimbus Grey.

They definitely are the same paintcode because (a) the paintcode (L)D7R(L) for the vehicle is plainly seen on the label in the boot and also at the front of the Servicing Schedule booklet, and (b) I found the odd third-party paint supplier on the Web listing Nimbus Grey also as D7R.

What I can't understand is why, if Pepper Grey came first and these two greys are now supposed to be identical, the VW UK market didn't simply adopt the precise translation for "gris poivré" in 2017 (or at the start of production of 6C's for the UK market), instead of inventing a different name that bore no relation at all to the original. I can't see that "nimbus grey" has any descriptive connection whatsoever to pepper and its assortments, as "nimbus" obviously refers to storm clouds. Off the cuff, I wonder what name was given to that grey in the german brochure for 2017? Does the german one prove to be an exact translation, or is it again something totally different?

albob
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by albob » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:47 pm

My German isn't great, but it seems they didn't have grey pepper as a colour. Page 10 in the link appears to contain the colours available

https://www.volkswagen.at/service-zubeh ... fomaterial

veteran
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by veteran » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:16 pm

Thanks for finding those french and german brochures, but with the german one you didn't look quite far enough, albob. If, at that link, you look in the "Der Polo" catalogue, the one that comes up as 'vw-kat-polo-04-2017-web.pdf', and you go to p.41, then under "Lackierungen" you'll see all the colours that were on offer in Germany for the yr-2017 Polos. Amongst them are:

Uranograu (colour no.2 in that catalogue)
Pepper Grey (color no.7 in that catalogue)

Contrast that with the names given to exactly the same colours for the UK market for that self same year:

Urano Grey
Nimbus Grey

It begs the question, Why, in the UK, was it necessary to change the Pepper Grey name?

Incidentally, it doesn't help that I was originally referring to the greys available in 2017 but that these german catalogues refer to 2016. It begins to look as though, in 2017, Pepper Grey was dropped for Nimbus Grey - at least, in the UK.
Last edited by veteran on Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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iichel
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by iichel » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:20 pm

I agree with the above mentioned statements, LD7R is both Pepper Grey and Nimbus grey.
I'm sorry but I don't know why it has two names.
I guess it is marketing, referring to the 2000 Audi TT Niemann Marcus edition. Making it sound a bit more luxurious...

veteran
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by veteran » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:29 pm

Maybe, from VW, we should have more accuracy and consistency, and a bit less of marketing. If VW were to mess about with colour descriptions in this way right across the range, and for other models of their vehicles too, where on earth would we arrive at? Total and utter confusion all round, I'd say.
Last edited by veteran on Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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iichel
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by iichel » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:53 pm

LD7R doesn't leave much room for interpretation or speculation ;-)

veteran
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Re: Paint descriptions and paintcodes

Post by veteran » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:09 pm

That's true, it doesn't, but why go messing around with the descriptive name? There was simply no need to change it from its original "Pepper Grey". All that's been achieved by what VW's done over these two names is confusion amongst the dealerships and the sales personnel, paint retailers, and the end customers like myself. Anyone who's hitherto known their car colour as one thing and then been told that, no, it's another is bound to ask questions and wonder whether what they're being told is correct. A paintcode is only useful and definitive if it's properly and faithfully applied. In this case, it was applied to two different colour descriptions. Paintcodes are supposed to be unique, not only from the chemical constituency angle but also from any description tagged to them.

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