Volkswagen prepares lighter models
Like their luxury cousins at Audi, Volkswagen is also focusing on shedding some weight from their future models. The German automaker is currently preparing a Golf with a bodyshell that’s 30% lighter than a standard five-door’s. The knowledge that the structural engineering teams learn from the SuperlightCar project will be directly applied to production models by 2012.
The Volkswagen design team had to use a melting pot full of different metals in order to achieve the strength and durability necessary for a road going vehicle, with all of the economical weight saving benefits. This project is being constructed from from a combination of steel, magnesium and aluminum. Volkswagen has built three of these different concepts in order to learn as much as possible: one made purely of steel, one with mixed materials but built to a low cost standard and one with more expensive mixed materials. The final high dollar version was able to cut the weight of the Mk5 Golf by as much as 41%. Not bad, 35 MPG here they come.