An Audi A5 Coupe prototype has replaced steel for aluminium and carbon-fibre
The lightweight Audi A5 Coupe prototype has reportedly dropped over 100kg in weight by using advanced aluminium and carbon fibre in the interest of fuel economy, emissions reduction and handling agility.
The A5 project car uses the aluminium Audi Space Frame (ASF) concept which Audi developed 15 years ago. Audi says using the ASF principle reduces the weight of a car body by at least 40 percent compared with conventional steel construction.
It has obviously worked with the A5 prototype, which boasts a kerb weight of 1310kg versus a total of 1420kg for the equivalent steel-bodied series production model.
Thanks to the weight loss, the A5 prototype is able to use a four-cylinder engine, reducing emissions and fuel, yet delivering the performance of a higher output V6.
The lightweight design of the test car also affects the brakes and transmission, which can be reduced in size and weight.
The company claims the "reduction in unsprung weight" has led to a car capable of changing direction better and faster.
"One of our most enduring aims for the future is to reverse the weight spiral," said Audi board member Michael Dick. The company claims that fuel consumption falls by 0.3 to 0.5 liters per 100kms of travel for every 100kgs of weight saved.
"Lightweight design is the foundation of our entire approach to improving efficiency," Dick said.
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