More Obvious A8 Aluminum


In the May issue of the magazine the exploded image of the Audi A8 space frame was obscured with too much ink on the page. Here it is in a more visible format.


In case you’re wondering: The aluminum body weighs 509.25 lb., which Audi engineers estimate is 40% less than a comparable steel body. There are 13 different aluminum grades used in the construction, and there are sheets, extrusions, as well as an array of castings (25 in all). Although the article that contained the not-clear image was about steel (no, there wasn’t a ferrous conspiracy involved), it is worth noting that there is an important steel component used in the A8 structure: hot stamped B-pillars. Because of the difference in properties of the steel and the aluminum to which it is attached, joining is performed through the use of adhesives and mechanical fasteners rather than through welding (coefficient of expansion, for example, could be problematic).