There has been a lot of talk about high performance European automakers coming up with new solutions in order to meet the continent’s emissions requirements for 2012. Manufacturers like Ferrari and Lamborghini have their own ways of cutting C02 output with experimental hybrid propulsion systems.
Continued after the jump.
The four ringed German car builder, Audi, has a plan of their own, weight reduction. Recent spy photos how an Audi S5 prototype that weighs in 400 kg (881 pounds) lighter than the current production model.
According to the company’s Director of Technical Development, Michael Dick, Audi’s priorities are "hybrid and electric power trains and lightweight construction for the next-generation version of Audi’s MLP (modular longitudinal platform)." The prototype that was caught testing is powered by a 230 HP four-cylinder engine, but despite being down on power, it laps the Nürburgring eight seconds quicker than its V8 powered siblings.
According to Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Rupert Stadler, "in order to fulfill future Co2 regulations the Audi top management has given a research assignment regarding a lightweight Audi S5. The prototype is ready by now. To achieve a reduced weight the, V8 has been replaced by the 2.0 TFSI engine (as known in the Audi S3 265HP, 350NM). Combined with a different material mix, weight is reduced by 400KG. All in total the performance specs are matching the actual S5 V8 numbers. Co2 output and fuel consumption do not have public measurement status yet, of course they are reduced more than significant. Now it is up to the customers if or not they are willing to accept a engine downsize within this class."
Like the late great Formula 1 world Champion and Lotus founder, Colin Chapman once said, “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere.” It is this decade’s old philosophy that was born on the racetrack that modern day automakers are looking towards for inspiration to create the next generation of automobiles.