The next Audi A3 will be almost as light as the original model from 1996, despite having significantly more safety and luxury features.
Audi sees weight-saving as one of its 'core competences' and a vital part of its emissions-reducing programme.
"With this model we have broken through the weight spiral while adding to safety and equipment," said Dr Olaf Kohler, responsible for the car's lightweight engineering.
The weight reduction is as much 80kg on at least one model, even though the exterior dimensions of the new model are roughly the same as those of the current, second-generation car.
The automaker claimed to have examined every single component to see if weight could be trimmed. The new generation has a 'multi-material body', including lightweight steels and an aluminium bonnet and bumper supports, which saved 18kg.
There is a new aluminium front subframe (6kg off) and lighter sound deadening materials in the cabin. The seats, air conditioning, wiring and plastics are lighter. Even the metal screws which hold parts of the interior trim together have been replaced by plastic rivets.
This will be the first car to be built on the Volkswagen group's new modular transverse platform which will eventually underpin everything from the Polo through Golf to the Passat, A1 and A3 family and almost every Skoda and Seat. This is another great help towards weight reduction, said Kohler.
But the biggest single saving is the 21kg reduction achieved by the new 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine which will be the entry-level power unit at launch in September. There will also be new 1.8TFSI and two-litre TDI turbodiesel units. CO2 emissions are down to as low as 120g/km for the petrol engines and 99g/km for the diesel.
Later will come 1.2-litre petrol, 1.6-litre diesel, high-performance 'S' and electric versions.
Audi has used lightweight body technology since 1994's A8 built around its ASF (aluminium space-frame) architecture, 40% lighter than a conventional steel body though it does require specialist repair skills and equipment.
Production of successive generations of the A8, and the R8 sports cars built along similar lines, has now topped 700,000 units.
Profit, or in some cases, the lack thereof, continued as a recurring theme this week as Q3 results and fiscal variations continued to roll in....
This QUBE report from just-auto provides a comprehensive overview of the global automotive turbocharger sector, major suppliers, top markets, technology trends and market size forecasts. Use this repo...
This QUBE report from just-auto report provides a comprehensive overview of the global material trends sector, major suppliers, top markets, technology trends and market size forecasts. Use this repor...
Updated in the last quarter, this report has been extracted from QUBE and provides a comprehensive overview of the vehicle lightweighting megatrend, the technologies, materials and suppliers involved,...
A final update of just-auto's list of concepts and production models which made their debuts at the Los Angeles auto show's 28 & 29 November press days....
An updated list of world premiere concepts and production models which appeared at AutoGuangzhou 2012....
- What does 'Brexit' mean for the auto sector?
- And so Brexit begins - The Week That Was
- The self-driving Volvo is getting closer
- Active suspension systems - briefing
- Toyota finally makes an economical Prius
- "No trade barriers" says FKG amid Brexit fallout
- 'Business as usual,' says Tata's Jaguar Land Rover
- VDA warns against post-Brexit customs barriers
- Aston Martin lost GBP127.9m in 2015
- Sales pessimism, production optimism, post-Brexit