Audi shows lighter side with A5
Audi has chopped more than 100 kg from the weight of its A5 coupe in preparation for a future of heavier drivetrains and increased efficiency.
The latest prototype from the guys at Ingolstadt is in the interest of fuel economy, reduced emissions and handling agility, the company says, and a need to extend efficiency "beyond the engine bay" by swapping steel for aluminium and carbon fibre.
First step was to replace the A5's steel construction with an aluminium Audi Space Frame (seen on the A8 and R8). This drops the kerb weight of the car by about 40% to 1 310 kg.
This significant weight loss also means this car's standard V6 can be lumped in favour of a four-cylinder 2.0 TFSI engine with its inherent consumption and emission advantages. The smaller engine also has the knock-on effect of requiring smaller and lighter brakes and transmission.
The manufacturer already employs a host of other weight-saving techniques in the construction of its cars. Engines use aluminium and vermicular graphite cast iron to reduce the weight of the crankcase. Aluminium chassis parts, carbon fibre-ceramic brake discs on high performance models and aluminium for brake calipers, bonnets, boot lids and other components .
Audi considers lightweight design a key component in its drive to improve efficiency, conserve resources and reduce operating costs, especially since the electric drivetrains of the future will add weight to cars.