The current Audi TT isn’t as heavy as its Brunel-tough styling might imply.
In 1.8 TFSI trim, it weighs just 1,240kg, thanks to extensive use of aluminium in its structure. That’s lighter than the Volkswagen Golf with which it shared a platform.
Still, always room for improvement, and Audi’s engineers have been hard at work on the TT Ultra Concept, concocted for the Wrthersee show in Germany, a celebration of all things Audi.
Based on the TT 2.0 TFSI, the Ultra Concept has shed a whole 300 kg, bringing weight down to only 1,111 kilos. That’s barely higher than that usual barometer of light-weight cars, Mazda’s MX-5.
So how did Audi do it? Pairing all that aluminium with even lighter materials, including Carbon Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) and Fiberglass-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) throughout the car’s bodyshell.
Together, they amount to a 100 kg saving from the bare shell alone – a component that only weighs 304 kg to start with, including detatchable elements like doors, bonnet and tailgate.
Audi’s famous attention to detail has seen them shave off grams here and there from all manner of other components too. Much of the engine has been on a diet, not only realising a 25 kilogram reduction in mass but helping to bump up power, too – total output is now 310 PS, to the 272 PS of the TT-S model.
Impressively, Audi has even made the car’s springs from FRP, reducing unsprung mass by 40 percent without compromising the car’s driving characteristics. A lightweight lithium-ion starter battery weighs only 4 kilos, seats from the Audi R8 GT shed another 22 kg, and CFRP is used throughout the interior to save further weight.
At the same time, amenities like air conditioning, electric windows and an electric parking brake are all included.
The extra power and reduced weight has seen the 0-62 mph time drop to 4.2 seconds – 1.1 seconds quicker than a TT-S, without the benefit of an ultra-fast S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission – and top speed climbs to a ballistic 173 mph.
And we have to say, it looks pretty good too. It’s as mean as its specification suggests and the modified interior with R8 gearshift gate and jet-style air vents looks fantastic.
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While the TT Ultra Concept’s primary aim is to look great at Wrthersee, there’s practical application here too. Cars need to get lighter to meet tougher emissions regulations in future, but the Ultra Concept demonstrates that flyweight components have other, more exciting benefits…
For more information check out our full summary of the Audi TT alongside reviews, stats, photos and videos!