2014 Audi S4 and S5 - massively lighter

Discussion in 'European Cars' started by ajzahn, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. #1 ajzahn, Mar 13, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    Audi's technical-development chief spills the beans about a kinder, gentler, and faster generation of sporty cars.

    BY MIKE DUSHANE, PHOTOGRAPHY BY YOSHI G. AND THE MANUFACTURER
    March 2009


    The current Audi S5 coupe is gorgeous, fast, and luxurious, but at over 3800 pounds, it’s not dainty. And the upcoming 2010 S5 cabriolet will weigh about 4300 pounds—more than a lot of mid-size SUVs—so forgive us for thinking Audi product planners were being intentionally ironic when they spoke at the car’s launch about their green philosophy and success in downsizing. They conveniently neglected to mention weight and focused on their powertrain strategy: a far more efficient supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 replaces the naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V-8 in the S5 cabriolet and S4 sedan for 2010, with the S5 coupe getting the new engine for 2011. These cars are claimed to achieve the same acceleration as the V-8 models while using 20 percent less fuel.

    Still, any idiot knows you can only get so far with engine downsizing in a performance car that weighs more than two tons. So we sat down with Michael Dick, Audi's global head of product engineering, and asked him about how he squares the company’s stated smaller-is-better credo with the reality of its hefty cars.

    Crash Dieting

    We expected to hear some mumbo-jumbo about how safety standards and consumer expectations for features and refinement dictate ever-growing curb weights, but Dick's response shocked us: Audi is currently testing a prototype of the next-generation S5 that weighs 880 pounds less than the current car. He outlined the ongoing increase in the use of aluminum, magnesium, and high-strength steel as a main reason behind the mass reduction. The current TT's chassis is 69 percent aluminum, and the next-generation A6 (probably due in 2011 or 2012) will have an even higher proportion, Dick says. The amount for the next A4/A5/S4/S5 will be higher still when they debut, likely as 2014 models.

    Dick also said that the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 is an "intermediate step" for Audi. The next S4 and S5 will have lighter turbocharged four-cylinder engines. We can look at the TT lineup for direction: the base TT in the U.S. has a 2.0-liter turbo four that makes 200 hp. The TT S has the same basic engine, but makes 265 hp with beefed up internals and a bigger turbo. Future S4 and S5 models will have about 20 percent less weight and up to 30 percent less engine displacement than the current S5, making combined fuel economy in the mid to high 20-mpg range likely.

    Good Looks, Lofty Goals

    Although Dick told us the existing S5 prototype uses the current car's styling, we were able to get insight into the next car’s design from another company source, namely the Sportback concept shown this year at the Detroit auto show. This "concept" isn't a concept at all—it's the Audi A7 that will debut later this year in production form. Company insiders tell us that while the car's overall proportions won't be used on other models, its sinister headlights, more-defined single-frame grille, and blade-like taillights will be defining graphic elements on the next generation of Audis.

    So it will look good, and Dick claims that even with all the safety and luxury features of today's car, it will weigh only 3000 pounds. He goes so far as to claim it laps Germany's famed Nürburgring Nordschleife eight seconds faster than the current S5. Skeptical? So are we. Industry sources tell us Audi hasn't yet taken enough weight out of the car's structure to achieve the stated goals, and we get the impression that Dick is telling us about the project to force his development team to make good on the claims. If you assume a car's engineering must be completed three years before it goes into production, they only have a couple of years to achieve these aggressive targets. We wish them the best of luck.


    >>> www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_lists/high_performance/german_performance/2014_audi_s4_and_s5_massively_lighter_to_use_turbo_fours_car_news
     
  2. if it takes them 5 years to strip a car then they shouldn't be making cars
     
  3. shut the #$%# up.

    They're talking about RE-ENGINEERING THE WHOLE #$%#ING CAR. not just taking things out.
     
  4. Not that you are going to be able to afford them in 5 years.
     
  5. That would be a very light S5...
     
  6. the ptorotype weighs that much. it's likely some engineering shell of a car.

    I'd expect reduction in weight, but to say a 3000 lbs s5 in the future is being very hopeful.
     
  7. I wasn't being serious you ass hut

    pick a new target already, christ
     
  8. If that was a joke it wasn't really funny either...
     
  9. Joke Fail. Member Fail. Try your luck with suicide.
     
  10. You'll just see that fails at well
    This demands reverse psychology, suggest him to breathe
     
  11. They should have made the S5 lighter in the first place.

    I'm getting really tired of cars that weight more than 3500 pounds. <A BORDER="0" HREF="http://www.supercars.net/PitLane?displayFAQ=y"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/angry.gif"></A>
     
  12. I dunno, it could've been red, which is much worse
     
  13. If I ever become semi-wealthy I'm going to buy an S-class and run you over with it.
     
  14. Yeah, and cost more than that too!
     

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