The sprawling Volkswagen Empire is in the process of consolidating its vehicle architectures. To help quell the industrial chaos Porsche was put in charge of sports-car development, but now it’s reported the next-generation Audi R8 will not share Zuffenhausen’s latest architecture.
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The current Audi A4 is one of the few cars on the market to have grown in size and decreased in weight, a smart philosophy in a world where performance and efficiency are now placed on a similar footing. The next-generation A4 is set to go on a crash diet, dropping 300 lbs through the use of composites, aluminum and proprietary engineering techniques.
The weight of a vehicle affects every aspect, from fuel consumption to handling to acceleration and braking. Audi is already experienced with using lightweight materials on cars like the R8 and A8. Hopefully by the time the next A4 is ready to be launched in 2015, the costs will have been sufficiently amortized so that they will be affordable to use on their bread and butter cars like the A4. A lightweight, efficient and sporty A4 would be a real threat to the dominance of Mercedes and BMW, while furthering Audi’s rise to the top of the luxury heap.