• Jun 8, 2009
Audi is developing the groundwork for an entirely new way of building its cars. The future for the four rings is light weight, giving it the proper base to support the best hybrid and electric cars, as well as extract the most from its traditional offerings.

As previously reported, the first example from the test lab is an S5 that is 400 kg -- yes, 880 pounds -- lighter than a traditional S5. Whereas the conventional S5 uses a 354 hp V8, the experimental utilizes a 230 hp four-cylinder, yet laps the 'Ring a humongous eight seconds faster than the V8. The test, of course, is to make such technology cost feasible to consumers and safe to boot.

The reduced calorie S5 is a hybrid steel and aluminum body built over a spaceframe, but Audi didn't say what the spaceframe was composed of. One hopes that they haven't started off with something unobtanium, and that given time, VW group scale could keep the price within a single-digit percent of the current car. If Audi does manage to get the light weight, safety, and affordability equation correct, that could make them... Lotus.

[Source: Autocar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Impressive. It'll take a lot of marketing, but it's a huge step towards CAFE goals and provides plenty of material to deride your competitors on (MPG, excess, efficiency, etc).
      • 5 Years Ago
      wait a minute! you drop 120 HP... and then lose 8 seconds on the ring?! once again my love of audi is justified... now if they would just put the v12 TDI in the R8... *drools*.
        • 5 Years Ago
        But that would be exactly the wrong way, again.

        Awesome engine, sure. But its large and heavy, and would end up making the car heavier overall.

        More compelling would be a tweaked V6 TDI, or the 4.2V8 TDI, putting out 350+hp, but 500lbs ft... combine that to that a diet of 3-400lbs and watch out!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Imagine what the performance would be if you put that V8 in that new 880lb lighter body...

      I JUST CAME
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lightness is THE ANSWER. There is NOTHING like a light car for all around performance goodness. NOTHING.

        Weight is the ENEMY, it ruins EVERYTHING about performance and fun.

        This coming from a Lotus Elise owner. Once you taste light, it is all you want.

        Colin was right. Light is right.

        • 5 Years Ago
        This is the same thinking that got the Americans into troubles. Bigger engine doesn't always translate to faster and lighter. There's a reason why they went back to the 4 banger. Smaller engine, less vibration, less reinforcement on the frame, less weight, etc... the minute you stuff a V8 into it you go back to where you started.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How about a twin charged V6, a nice happy median?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The extra 200 lbs from the V8 might actually slow it down. -- The difference in acceleration on a race track isn't all that big from 230 to 350 hp, especially if there is a weight penalty. Long story short, the lighter/less powerful car will come on to straights at higher speeds, so the heavier/more powerful car has to catch up first in velocity and then in distance.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How much less does the supercharged V6 that coming out weight vs the current V8? I wonder if they were using the 2.0T or maybe even the 2.5? Imaging the TT-S or even TT-RS motor in there.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well it would probably weigh about 200lb more, but yeah whoop
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds good. This and the news that BMW's looking to build a light FI M3 again (maybe they'll recapture the E30 magic that's been lost since) can only mean good things.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I knew the Audi engineers must have been bored after they figured out how to turn VWs into tire-shredding AWD beasts. Now that they've finished with that, they can go onto a truly next-generation form of mass-production automobile architecture. Good for them, I hope the others follow their lead. (or was it Lotus' lead?)

      It does seem that Audi really does try to apply the things they learn through racing to their road cars. Not in the sense that they build barely-legal race cars for the street but in their philosophical approach to race cars that benefit future production models.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did it lose the 4wd too? S5 should be quattro imo but maybe dont need it like the Focus RS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Considering how Audi loves to hang their engines eight feet in front of the front axle - a less powerful but lighter weight engine could be a real benefit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The main question would be, would using more aluminum drive up the actual cost of the car though?
      • 5 Years Ago
      To Honda S2000 is on par with Audi:

      You forgot the 167lb-ft of torque at 6800rpm...

      Not exactly luxury sports torque right there... different breed of animal...
        • 5 Years Ago
        168lb feet isnt bad at all!

        Just that 6800 rpm part *cringes*
      • 5 Years Ago
      Audi design starts to look dated.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, most Audis look like a week old bar of soap.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pingu - I doubt it that this is a FWD car.

      Weight saving sounds good. I love audis, but I wish there was more feel in the controls. :(
      • 5 Years Ago
      The lighter frame will benefit them as well when they move to EVs and small diesel hybrids (I think I read)
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