Due out in 2014, the next generation Audi R8, will feature an aluminum and carbon fiber architecture in an effort to save weight and help the automaker meet increasingly stringent fuel economy targets.
According to Michael Dick, who heads up Audi’s development arm, the reason for going with a hybrid structure is not only to save weight but also reduce cost. Lamborghini, also part of the VW empire, currently uses a complete carbon fiber monocoque for its new flagship super car, the Aventador, yet despite the advantages of strength and light weight, the cost of utilizing carbon fiber on a large scale, remains fairly prohibitive, especially on car designed to compete in a lower price segment, like the R8.
Combining both carbon fiber and aluminum seems like a good compromise, plus using both materials in the car’s construction will likely reduce the weight of the R8’s skeleton by some 45 lbs. Weight savings are also planned for the car’s suspension, driveline and bodywork, as Audi seeks to make the next R8 the lightest sports car in the segment.
Given that the rival Porsche 911 is currently some 350 lbs lighter, the folks at Ingolstadt still have a bit of work to do, though if the rumors of a R8 NF lightweight model are to be believed, it’s likely Audi should be able to meet the challenge.
[Source: Motor Authority]