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      05-13-2010, 11:17 AM   #1
footie
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Next generation Audi A4 to shed over 300 pounds

Next generation Audi A4 to shed over 300 pounds

Over the course of the last 20 years, each new Audi model has weighed around 10 percent more than its predecessor, but that all changed when the all-new 2009 Audi A4 (B8) debuted last year. The mid-size sedan gained less than 100 pounds over the previous model (B7), despite growing in every possible dimension. And when the next A4 arrives in five year's time, Audi claims it will weigh less than the current model.

Heinrich Timm, head of Audi's Lightweight Design Center, told us earlier today that the next generation A4 likely due out in 2015 will shed some 150 kg (330 pounds) over the B8. The move to drop the A4's curb weight is part of a larger initiative by Audi to reduce the tonnage of its future vehicles by using more aluminum, innovative structural techniques and composites.

And the benefits of weight reduction aren't just limited to fuel consumption and emissions. As any gearhead knows, weight affects every aspect of the vehicle's dynamics from handling to braking to acceleration. For every 220 pounds lost, a vehicle can accelerate to 60 mph in 20 fewer feet. Lose 440 pounds and the amount of runway saved nearly doubles.

While other automakers are employing high tensile steel to increase rigidity and reduce weight, the stuff costs nearly three-times more than a normal stamped piece. By limiting the use of tensile steel, the overall cost savings will allow Audi to utilize more exotic materials carbon fiber in particular to reduce weight and further enhance the driving experience.

As the father of the spaceframe, Timm knows all too well that weight reduction is the key to the next generation of automobiles. Not only will it decrease fuel consumption, increase safety and pay dividends for the driver, it's the only way automakers can simultaneously meet new emission standards while delivering the content and driving experience customers expect. Timm says, "We want to bring it to a higher volume," and the next generation A4 is sure to be the first in a long line of lightened Audis.
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      05-13-2010, 11:34 AM   #2
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300 is a lot. There goes the spare tire and in goes the run flat? Delete quattro?
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      05-13-2010, 02:16 PM   #3
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i'll believe it when i see it. Most buyer in that segment care more about having this and that over shedding pounds. The next generation will be slightly bigger and have more electronic gadgets. Even if they shed pounds, much of it will be eaten up by other additions. Mark my words, they next A4 will not weight 300lbs lighter.
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      05-13-2010, 02:39 PM   #4
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i'll believe it when i see it. Most buyer in that segment care more about having this and that over shedding pounds. The next generation will be slightly bigger and have more electronic gadgets. Even if they shed pounds, much of it will be eaten up by other additions. Mark my words, they next A4 will not weight 300lbs lighter.
Yup a general consumer is not going to care whether the car weights 300 lbs lighter or whatnot, but they will be angry if some features are missing that were taken out to shed weight.
 
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      05-13-2010, 03:00 PM   #5
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Yup a general consumer is not going to care whether the car weights 300 lbs lighter or whatnot, but they will be angry if some features are missing that were taken out to shed weight.
If it performs better, increases fuel efficiency and handling, they will like it a lot. Most options like satnav are not really the reason cars are heavy, that has more to do with how they are built and what materials are used.

End result, they get to meet regulations and you get a better car.
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      05-13-2010, 03:13 PM   #6
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Yup a general consumer is not going to care whether the car weights 300 lbs lighter or whatnot, but they will be angry if some features are missing that were taken out to shed weight.
Exactly, I can see an S4 or RS4 being lighter, but a soccer mom is going to look elsewhere if the car "has too much road noise" because they cut down on the insulation to drop the weight.
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      05-14-2010, 02:07 AM   #7
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Why is so many surprised by this statement from Audi, is it not common knowledge that BMW are about to follow a similar path with future models. Maybe Audi have the jump on it's rivals but only by a couple of years or so at most.

But you ask how this can possibly be done? Simple, if you reduce the weight of the shell it has a knock on effect, less weight calls for less power to achieve the same results thus a smaller lighter engine, less weight calls for smaller brakes than before which again reduces the overall weight, less power means smaller radiators and smaller/lighter drivetrain. It's still a mammoth task but one that is very achievable.
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      05-14-2010, 07:39 AM   #8
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But you ask how this can possibly be done? Simple, if you reduce the weight of the shell it has a knock on effect, less weight calls for less power to achieve the same results thus a smaller lighter engine, less weight calls for smaller brakes than before which again reduces the overall weight, less power means smaller radiators and smaller/lighter drivetrain. It's still a mammoth task but one that is very achievable.
I don't doubt the merits of weight reduction at all. I just don't think Audi will reduce weight by 300lbs. I think 100lbs is more likely.
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      05-14-2010, 08:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lyndon_h View Post
I don't doubt the merits of weight reduction at all. I just don't think Audi will reduce weight by 300lbs. I think 100lbs is more likely.
Why doesn't anybody believe this?

They've already been playing around with this, look at the Lightweight Audi A5 2.0T Concept:

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...rototype_drive
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      05-14-2010, 09:04 AM   #10
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i think everyone will shed weight in the next few years due to stricter emission standard. audi just happens to announce it first. I think they will do 300lbs for real in order to meet emission.
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      05-14-2010, 09:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by lyndon_h View Post
I don't doubt the merits of weight reduction at all. I just don't think Audi will reduce weight by 300lbs. I think 100lbs is more likely.
When BMW were able to reduce the weight of the GTS by approx 100kgs compared to a normal M3 without resorting to an alloy shell, smaller engine, smaller brakes, etc I think your estimates are well wide of the mark.
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      05-14-2010, 09:18 AM   #12
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This is good news. Maybe everyone will stop increasing demensions on all models as well. That usually helps in weight control.
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      05-14-2010, 09:47 AM   #13
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When BMW were able to reduce the weight of the GTS by approx 100kgs compared to a normal M3 without resorting to an alloy shell, smaller engine, smaller brakes, etc I think your estimates are well wide of the mark.
Are you using this car as a basis for your argument?
http://www.netcarshow.com/bmw/2011-m3_gts/





A GTS is not a production car sold in a premium market where buyers expect leather, heated seats, "that german solid feel", etc.

a couple of quick points (sorry at work)
Also, it is the norm for cars to get bigger with time. If the F30, next IS or Mercedes upsize their next car, Audi will be forced to do the same. Many buyers use a spreadsheet like approach when buying cars and look for "roominess" specs. So matching a competitors size and features is important. The increase in size alone will negate some weight savings. Also weight savings is expensive.
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      05-14-2010, 10:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Muffnbluff View Post
Why doesn't anybody believe this?

They've already been playing around with this, look at the Lightweight Audi A5 2.0T Concept:

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...rototype_drive
Again, look at what they've already done with the Lightweight Audi A5.
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      05-14-2010, 12:31 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by lyndon_h View Post
Are you using this car as a basis for your argument?

A GTS is not a production car sold in a premium market where buyers expect leather, heated seats, "that german solid feel", etc.

a couple of quick points (sorry at work)
Also, it is the norm for cars to get bigger with time. If the F30, next IS or Mercedes upsize their next car, Audi will be forced to do the same. Many buyers use a spreadsheet like approach when buying cars and look for "roominess" specs. So matching a competitors size and features is important. The increase in size alone will negate some weight savings. Also weight savings is expensive.
I do understand why you are questioning it (up to a point) but Audi have already proved it with the lightweight A5 that it can be done without losing any of the luxuries that are present on the normal A5 and this car was not a concept car that couldn't be driven in the normal manner, this was a fully working A5 in every way.

You will see the first efforts of this with the launch of the A7 and A6 but it will take till the next A4 before you will see the full extent of the weight lose.
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      05-14-2010, 12:38 PM   #16
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When BMW were able to reduce the weight of the GTS by approx 100kgs compared to a normal M3 without resorting to an alloy shell, smaller engine, smaller brakes, etc I think your estimates are well wide of the mark.
It lost only 70 kg.
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      05-14-2010, 12:48 PM   #17
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It lost only 70 kg.
That is only when compared to a manual M3, but as the GTS is DCT you have to compare like with like.
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      05-14-2010, 01:35 PM   #18
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M3 6MT: 1655 kg (EU)
M3 7DCT: 1675 kg (EU)
M3 GTS (7DCT): 1605 kg (EU), 1530 kg (DIN), 1490 kg (Dry)
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      05-14-2010, 03:39 PM   #19
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M3 6MT: 1655 kg (EU)
M3 7DCT: 1675 kg (EU)
M3 GTS (7DCT): 1605 kg (EU), 1530 kg (DIN), 1490 kg (Dry)
I stand corrected, thanks for putting me straight.

Last edited by footie; 05-14-2010 at 04:32 PM.
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      05-14-2010, 07:50 PM   #20
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I do understand why you are questioning it (up to a point) but Audi have already proved it with the lightweight A5 that it can be done without losing any of the luxuries that are present on the normal A5 and this car was not a concept car that couldn't be driven in the normal manner, this was a fully working A5 in every way.
The lightweight A5 you are referring to is made with Alum and Carbon Fiber, which will make it way too expensive for its segment.

If the B9 is 300lbs lighter, it will be lighter than a 911, Z and only about 50lbs heavier than the 911GT2. It could happen, but i'm sticking to my guns in saying that its not going to happen without being too expensive for its segment. Now, it may happen for an RS4 type vehicle but not for regular A4.
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      05-15-2010, 11:41 AM   #21
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You do know that BMW are looking to combine Carbon Fibre in the construction of future models.
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      05-15-2010, 01:39 PM   #22
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Audi=weight reduction
sounds funny
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