Audi TT Ultra Concept: The Lightness of Being
At this year’s Wörthersee Tour, Audi waged war on excess weight, with a special version of its TT 2.0 TFSI Coupe. The Audi TT Ultra Quattro Concept shed 95 pounds from its body through the use of carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP), fiberglass-reinforced polymer (FRP) and magnesium for much of its components. The Concept is 220 pounds lighter than its production sibling, and when you add a turbocharged 2.0-liter TFSI engine with 310 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque, you wind up with a supercar-like power-to-weight ratio, 0-60 in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 173 mph.
The TT Ultra Quattro tips the scales at only 2,449 pounds, an impressive achievement considering it combines a potent four-cylinder gas engine backed by a six-speed transmission with quattro all-wheel-drive. Modifications to the crankcase, crankshaft, balancer shafts, flywheel, sump, bolts and certain ancillary units also helped to reduce the unit’s weight by 55 pounds.
With its innovative hybrid body shell, the production TT already boasts a low body weight of 454 pounds (excluding detachable body parts amounting to 216 pounds) which speaks volumes for the Audi engineers’ desire to account for every last ounce. The concept’s body structure shed another 95 pounds, and with the help of optimized detachable body parts achieved a total weight savings of 220 pounds.
CFRP in the rear end, the center tunnel, the B-pillars and the roof contributed to the weight loss, as did magnesium components in the floor and hinge reinforcements. The front brakes’ ceramic discs and aluminum calipers, the titanium exhaust system and CFRP wheels with high-strength aluminum spokes, shaved another 44 pounds. FRP in place of steel in the suspension’s coil springs cut weight by 40%.
To further hone the TT’s handling, the constructors concentrated on distributing the remaining weight more effectively by moving it to the center of the car. A lithium-ion battery was located under the driver’s seat due to its small size and 8.82 pound weight.
The TT Ultra Quattro concept is reflected in its more emphatic styling, the focal point of which is the large Audi Motorsport spoiler. The rear wing base is milled aluminum, while the wing itself is made of carbon fiber. The car is painted crystal white, complemented by CFRP elements in the roof, flanks and tail. In the interior, CFRP is in the door trim, center console and the cross bracing that replaces the rear seat. The standard front seats were replaced by FRP bucket seats from the R8 GT which reduced the total weight by 48 pounds.
The TT Ultra Quattro Concept is, as its name suggests, a study developed for the annual gathering of Audi enthusiasts in Wörthersee, Germany. It also demonstrates how a mix of materials can bring about considerable weight savings even in existing production models. Deployment of these materials could conceivably influence the development of future low-volume Audi models.