Audi plans ultra-lightweight TT

Audi TT front
Credits: Poblete
23 Nov, 2012 10:12am Jack Rix

A high-performance, 1,000kg version of the Audi TT is under consideration

Audi is plotting a super-lightweight derivative of the next-generation TT, in a bid to inject more emotion into the brand and showcase its latest technology.

Weighing just 1,000kg, with four-wheel drive and constructed from a combination of carbon-fibre, steel and aluminium, it could be the incarnation of the 2010 Quattro concept we’ve all been waiting for.

“A car in the TT segment weighing 1,000kg would be a very interesting proposition,” revealed Wolfgang Durheimer, Audi’s new Head of technical development. “It would be a derivative of the TT and the challenge is to make it a quattro too – that’s what I’ve asked my engineers.”

Comparisons to the legendary original Quattro are inevitable, especially when you consider which engine has been earmarked for the project. “We’re talking about a high-power output here, so I would like it to be a five-cylinder engine. Oh, and don’t forget a roll cage in the back.” he added.

To achieve such a remarkably low weight, Audi will need to draw on the very latest in materials technology. One of the advantages of the MQB platform – on which the next Audi TT will be based – is that it can be made from either steel, a mix of steel and aluminium, or a mix of the above with carbon-fibre structural elements (as showcased by the Crosslane Coupe Concept at the Paris Motor Show in September). Thie ultra-lightweight TT will use the latter.

“We are pushing toward multi-material platforms. We can combine aluminium and steel, glue carbon to aluminium and even rivet carbon to tempered steel,” Durheimer explained. “You will see these innovations on the next Q7.”

Due in 2014, the next Q7 will be among the first Audi to be based on a new MLB platform that will underpin a variety of new Audis from A4 to A8. By extensive use of aluminium, along with carbon elements in its structure, the Q7 will follow the new Range Rover’s lead in shedding the pounds.

“We are talking about losing 200kg in the body alone and around 350kg in total,” Durheimer confirmed.

The new TT is also expected in 2014, we’ll have to wait a year or two longer for the ultra-lightweight special and it will cost significantly more. “Of course, it would have to cost much more. It will be like the Porsche 911 GT3 pricing strategy – we’ll need to charge more for less,” Durheimer added.

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At what cost to the customer I wonder?.

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