Audi’s flagship A8 family gets a new member later this year.
And although still constructed to be lightweight, the new model is about
50kg heavier than the structure of the existing A8. That’s because of
an integrated full-length panoramic sunroof that requires extra bracing,
extra autonomous technology, including additional electronics and cameras, and new alternative powertrains--Audi will introduce at least a plug-in hybrid version of the A8, meaning heavier batteries and housings.
To minimize some of the added weight gain engineers used magnesium in the front strut brace, making the component 28 percent lighter than it would be if it were fabricated from aluminum. Still, aluminum accounts for 58 percent of the car’s body, and carbon fiber elements are also incorporated for additional weight savings. That carbon fiber component is what the company calls “the carbon wall”--a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic panel at the back of the passenger cell that weighs just 2.6kg, about 50 percent less than a comparable metal part.
Look for the new 2017 Audi A8 this summer, with sales starting by the autumn.
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