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Audi Quattro Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Audi makes some blazingly fast automobiles. If you need proof, spend some seat time in vehicles like the RS6 or the R8. They make it look like producing autos with plenty of kick is a piece of cake for Audi. Making that same vehicle fuel efficient, though, is no easy task. Thankfully, lighweighting – a process of stripping mass from the entire vehicle – is here to help, and the automaker intends to slash weight from its upcoming models, each and every one of them.

Audi's Quattro Concept, which debuted at the Paris Motor Show, checks in at less than 3,000 pounds and sports a 408-horsepower five-cylinder engine. The weight-cutting measures, combined with a potent engine, result in a vehicle with a power-weight ratio on par with some supercars. Okay, sure, the Quattro Concept is not a production car, but it does showcase the benefits of lightweighting.

Audi's upcoming A4, scheduled to arrive in 2015, is reported to be at least 330 pounds lighter than the model it replaces. The next-gen A6, while the same size as the current model, will shed some 176 pounds of weight. Audi hopes that by using materials like magnesium, composites and aluminum, its mid-size models, even when equipped with the bulky quattro drivetrain, will tip the scales at less than 3,100 pounds; an impressive result considering that the majority of automakers continue to introduce heftier rides.



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Live photos copyright ©2010 Zach Bowman / AOL


[Source: Autocar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      In the past Audi's always used cubic horsepower to win, so it's nice that they're trying a more efficient strategy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is pointless in the big picture.

      Making cars more flimsy and less robust may result in higher mileage. But higher mileage does not result in lower fuel consumption. Even if it did, each gallon of gasoline is a net new worsening of the environment anyway - approaching the cliff at a slower speed does not equal a needed change of direction. Plus, OPEC could just cut production to make us all pay just as much as before. All at the cost of safety and human lives on the roads, sacrificed for nothing at all.

      What matters is to SWITCH FUELS or motive power.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "This is pointless in the big picture."

        All alternative propulsion technologies would benefit from lighter weight. Not sure what you're on about.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Have you ever seen an Audi A6? 'Flimsy' is the last term you would use to describe it.
        They are substituting lighter but still robust materials such as magnesium for steel, and certainly not compromising strength.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Easssssy thererrrrrrreee Wilburrrr! You just quit smoking?

        http://www.wikihow.com/Calm-Down
      • 4 Years Ago
      Applause to Audi. Finally. Now tell your colleagues over in Wolfsburg, whose 4-cylinder engines you use, to catch-up with the times and jettison the 40-year old 88mm bore-center cast-iron block engines for aluminum ones with somewhat less drastically undersquare bore/stroke ratio, and design-in a cylinder offset while you're at it.

      Having done tear-down benchmarks of both engines, your Munich competitors have some things to school you on.
      • 4 Years Ago
      token efforts to reverse the massive bloating of the few recent years. it's horse hockey. (curious term but absent freedom of speech you have be creative)

      it's still an unaerodynamic heavy steel car powered by a very wasteful engine. so not green. not even a little. like a rapist saying ok ok I wont do her but I'll definitely do her. and her. and her
      wake up people
      carbon electric and it's not hard to make a 4 seater weigh less than 500kg. and it wont be flimsy or inherently unsafe
        • 4 Years Ago
        I understand your thinking but I'm not wrong. an F1 has a minimum weight under regulations. not due to engineering difficulty. cushions are not notoriously heavy btw : )
        the aptera is a failure in several ways. good intentions but for some reason terrible result. it scored almost as bad as the unaerodynamic steel Tata Indica EV at the xprize. pathetic for what is supposed to be an extreme vehicle. not sure how they failed but they did.
        look more to GM ultralite and it can be much lighter than that.

        a safe comfortable 4 seater is not hard in 500kg. the only somewhat unknown for me is sound proofing. I don't exactly understand that and how much mass it takes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dan, you say that a lot, but you are completely and utterly wrong. Do you realize that a modern Formula 1 car weighs more than 400 kg, so that with ballast, driver, fluids, it comes it at the minimum weight of 620 kg? That is, the most optimized, expensive cars in the world, that carry one singular person the distance that it takes to complete one race before being completely overhauled come in just a little bit under your criteria.

        You might be able to cut out half the weight of the 120 kg motor and transmission combo for the electric propulsion - hell, maybe more if you get exotic. But then add all the batteries, 3 more seats (and cushions!), a windshield, roof, windows, doors, crash bumpers, and all the other things required for an actual 'car' and you're clearly well above your 'easy to accomplish' weight.

        I realize that you philosophy has definite merit, but the way that you denigrate all the efforts taken so far clearly shows that you don't have much sympathy for engineering. If you look at the spectrum of current 'ultralight' prospects ranging from the desperately underworked Edison2 at 375 kg and the production feasible Aptera 2e at 820 kg, I hope you realize that what you ask for is certainly not "easy." Not cheap, anyway.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I told them many times to lightweight the car because it give it more speed, less costly to build, less fueling cost, better security, more drivability, bigger size so more collision protection, more powerful engine because of less inertia in engine, better drivability equal more secure speed and more sucure and efficient and less costly and more longitivity in brake system.

      Conclusion: a green car ( less costly, better, less polluting, more drivability, more speed, better braking, confortable suspention, cheaper to buy maintain run .)

      It's the same for electric or gasoline or hybrid plug in or not with battery only hybrid without gasoline diesel generator ice or turbine electrical generator performance enhencer and range extender running in montain mode assisted by a solar panel made of recycled plastics or new plastic.