Audi R8 Uses Composites & Aluminium to Reduce Weight by 15%

2nd March 2015

The Geneva Motor Show starts later this week but Audi have released some details of its new R8 in advance. For us, the most interesting thing is their approach to weight reduction. 

According to audi, the R8 V10 plus has a dry weight of 1,454 kilograms with the key factor behind the consistent lightweight design being the body shell with multi-material Audi Space Frame (ASF): It weighs only 200 kilograms. The resulting unladen weight of 1,555 kilograms leads to a superior power-to-weight ratio of 392PS per ton.


The new Audi R8 is 15 % lighter than its predecessor
The new Audi R8 is 15 % lighter than its predecessor


The ASF body shell features a completely new multi-material lightweight construction concept. Components made from carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) form the B pillars, the central tunnel and the rear wall. The front section of the vehicle, the roof arch and the rear section form a framework made from cast aluminium nodes and aluminium profiles which, in some cases, employ new alloys. As always with the ASF, each component is precisely designed for its location and purpose. Accordingly, the engineers have now integrated some components into the body shell due to their function. Leaving aside its components, the body shell is now around 15 percent lighter than its predecessor. At the same time, a 40 percent improvement in torsional rigidity has also been achieved.

The multi-material Audi Space Frame in the new Audi R8 is extremely light and rigid, whilst also being acoustically comfortable and offering a high level of safety. The outer skin is made entirely of aluminium, but as an optional extra (or as standard for the V10 plus), Audi also offers attachment parts made from clear-coated carbon fibre, for example the front splitter, the diffuser or the side blades. A long, rising diffuser in the underbody produces downforce on the rear axle at higher speeds.