Audi plans to shed 100kg from the weight of its next-generation R8, which is due to go on sale in 2014. In order to do this Audi will use innovative bonding technologies to introduce carbon fibre and other materials to its aluminium spaceframe.
The current R8 uses a solely aluminium spaceframe, but this new technique will allow for greater strength; up to 40,000Nm per degree, making it stronger than the likes of the Ferrari 458 Italia and Lexus LFA. There will also be some cost-saving benefits in the event of repair.
Audi’s new bonding method is called ‘Ultra’ and Audi engineer Dr Lutz-Eike Elend explains one of its key advantages, “With this concept you can always just take out and replace the particular elements—even the (central) tunnel. In the event of a side collision, you can take the rivets and bonding out and put the new part right back in.”
Dr Elend also says the next R8’s body-in-white will weigh just 198kg, which is, he says, “better than any vehicle with a carbon-fibre monocoque.”