The cars built off of Audi's "B8" platform, including the A4 sedan, A5 coupe and their derivatives, have much to recommend them. Light weight is not among those characteristics. The lowest mass four cylinder front wheel drive A4 sedan weighs in at nearly 3,600 pounds and the V8-powered AWD S5 runs nearly 4,100 pounds. For mid-sized cars of very reasonable dimensions, these are prodigious numbers. Of course, modern safety regulations feed into this as does the continuing proliferation of feature content.

Audi is aware of the problem and is actively working to address it in its next generation of cars. Global product engineering boss Michael Dick talked to Car and Driver in Geneva last week and explained that lighter weight materials would be accompanying downsized powertrains in the next round of models. According to Dick, an early prototype of the next S5 is currently running 880 pounds lighter than the current model (pictured above). The next A6 chassis in 2011 is expected to top the 69 percent aluminum content of the current TT and A4/A5 will have more than that. The new 3.0L supercharged V6 that is going into the S4 that is launching this year will be replaced by an even smaller turbocharged four cylinder unit

[Source: Car and Driver]

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