On Location: Audi Experiments with Carbon Fiber Body Panels and TT Benefits
by, 03-15-2011 at 08:52 AM (8444 Views)
Just before the recent Geneva Motor Show, Fourtitude visited the Audi Lightweight Design Center (ALDC) in Neckarsulm and had a chance to test drive a few very interesting vehicles (more to come on that later). While on location for the drives, we encountered a comparative display between the aluminum hood of a standard TT S-line (shown below in red) and an experimental carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) hood that weighs a fraction of the production alloy version.
Note the handles located at the top of the grille. These were used to allow you to pick up each hood at the same time while standing in between the cars. Doing so, the differences quickly became apparent.
Audi is already moving toward more carbon fiber in its use of body panels. The decklid for the R8 Spyder was the first such implementation and the front quarter panels of the RS 3 are of the same material. TT hoods aren't yet made of CFRP but Audi must have done a small series run because we saw several throughout our tour.
More photos after the jump.