is expected to hit showrooms in 2010, and aside from an A4/A5-inspired facelift, the automaker's new 5-series competitor will be underpinned by an evolution of the chassis technology originally developed for the
. According to
, the next iteration of
Aluminum and Steel Spaceframe (ASF II) technology will be utilized on all future models, and uses half the steel of the outgoing platforms while providing 50-percent more torsional rigidity. The passenger cell will be made up entirely of aluminum, with steel and foam reinforcements if needed, and the front and rear subframes will be beefed up units integrated into the structures of the nose and tail. The ASF II system will finds its way into other vehicles, including Audi's
, where it has the potential to shave off over 650 pounds from the
's curb weight.
Naturally, Audi will continue to offer front- and all-wheel-drive on the next
, but the combination of more potent mills mounted further back into the engine bay will lessen its rival's lead in the handling department.
's sources suggest that a variety of V6 engines, ranging from 2.8- to 3.2-liters will be offered, along with a pair of
, the 4.2-liter FSI V8 found in the RS4/R8, the 5.2-liter V10 (
) and a twin-turbo 5.0-liter V10 for the