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21.05.2003 – 09:01

Audi AG

250,000 Audi cars with an aluminium body
Lightweight construction plays a central role at Audi
Five years ahead of the competition

250,000 Audi cars with an aluminium body / Lightweight construction plays a central role at Audi / Five years ahead of the competition
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    - Cross-reference: photo is at
        http://www.presseportal.de/galerie.htx?type=obs  available -

    Neckarsulm (ots)

The 250,000th Audi with an aluminium body left
the production line today at the Neckarsulm plant: an Audi A8 4.0 TDI
quattro. Audi has been using aluminium in volume production for about
ten years now. Audi realised the Audi Space Frame ASF concept, which
was specially developed for an aluminium body, back in 1993 on the A8
and evolved it for the Audi A2 and the new Audi A8. More than 117,000
Audi A8 and just under 133,000 Audi A2 models have been built since
then.
    
    Audi set new standards as a pioneer of aluminium construction: A2
and A8 models with their all-aluminium body have picked up around 40
awards from well-known institutes and media. Plant manager Otto
Lindner sees "light vehicles built using aluminium and intelligent
composite construction methods" as the future of car manufacturing.
    
    Lightweight construction plays a central role at Audi: the company
has been conducting intensive research and development work in the
area of aluminium for around 20 years. Audi has consequently built up
outstanding expertise in the use of this light metal. "We are about
five years ahead of the competition," says Heinrich Timm, Head of the
Aluminium and Lightweight Construction Centre in Neckarsulm. "The
systematic application of lightweight construction helps to achieve a
noticeable reduction in fuel consumption and to further improve
comfort, performance and safety at the same time," says Timm. The
material's outstanding suitability for recycling and the positive
energy balance that results also speak in favour of the aluminium
concept.
    
    Audi presented a study of an aluminium body based on the Audi 100
at the Hanover Fair in 1985. The use of aluminium however means more
than merely a substitute for steel. With the presentation of the Audi
Space Frame in 1993, a high-strength aluminium frame structure was
realised into which the large aluminium panels were integrated, thus
assuming a supporting function. Aluminium extruded sections were
connected by means of die-cast multifunctional components. The new
design also called for innovative technologies. Improved light alloys
and process techniques were thus developed.
    
    Milestones in aluminium body manufacturing
    
    1983 Start of the project "Aluminium Intensive Car", start of
            development for aluminium lightweight body construction
    
    1985 Presentation of the Audi 100 study with an aluminium body
            based on the shell principle at the Hanover Fair
    
    1993 Presentation of the ASF study at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show

    
    1994 World premiere of the Audi A8 with an aluminium body at the
            Geneva Motor Show
    
    1997 Presentation of the study Al2 at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show

    
    1999 World premiere of the Audi A2, the first volume-production
            car with an aluminium body, at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show  
            2001 Market launch of the A2 1.2 TDI, the first five-door    
            three-litre car 2002 Production landmark: the 100,000th Audi
            A8 2003 World premiere of the new Audi A8 with refined    
            ASF concept at the Paris Motor Show
    
    Note: A photo of the production landmark is available via obs
(dpa) and can be called up at http://www.audi-press.com;
Accreditation - valid until 25 th May - with user name: aupr0321;
password: nj4ew3
    
    
ots Original Text Services: Audi AG
Internet: http://www.presseportal.de
    
Communication Audi Sites
Joachim Cordshagen,
Phone: +49 (0)841 89-36340
e-mail: joachim.cordshagen@audi.de
    
Communication Neckarsulm Plant
Susanne Jauch,
Phone: +49 (0)7132/311310
e-mail: susanne.jauch@audi.de

Original content of: Audi AG, transmitted by news aktuell