Audi TT Ultra Quattro troubles R8

The Audi TT Ultra Quattro demonstrates new weight saving tech and a Nissan GT-R slaying power-to-weight figure

Meet the most extreme Audi TT yet. The TT Ultra Quattro is a concept that demonstrates Audi’s latest weight-saving technology, and at 1111kg, it’s not only 300kg less than a comparative TT, but lighter than many superminis, despite retaining all-wheel drive. And it’s not just lower weight that will benefit its performance – a hike to 306bhp places its power figure closer to the 335bhp TT RS (which uses a 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine) than the 268bhp, 2-litre four-cylinder TTS it’s based on. Torque also climbs from 258 to 295lb ft. The combination of lower weight and higher outputs leads to some R8-troubling performance figures, 0-62 taking 4.2sec and the top speed pegged at 173mph. Its 280bhp/ton power-to-weight ratio is higher than the V8-engined Audi R8 or a 2008-spec Nissan GT-R. The 2-litre TFSI’s extra power is yielded by tweaks to its crankcase, crankshaft, flywheel and sump, among other components, which reduce its mass by 25 per cent. More weight – a stocky 100kg, in fact – is saved courtesy of the TT Ultra Quattro’s body structure, with a carbonfibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) inner structure cutting 43kg and a further 57kg lost via the use of carbon in the outer body, including the bonnet, roof and tailgate. Under-body components also exhibit weight cuts, with fibreglass reinforced polymer (FRP) used for the suspension coil springs, a lithium ion battery, a titanium exhaust system and carbon-ceramic brake discs up front. Interior touches include CFRP trim, 22kg-lighter sports seats from the R8 GT, the loss of rear seats and the replacement of rear-view mirrors with cameras and digital screens. Equipment such as air con and electric windows remains. The Audi TT Ultra Quattro is officially a concept, and will be unveiled at the VW Group-tastic Worthersee festival in Austria. Its weight-saving measures look set to influence future production Audis, though. And we could even see a limited run of TT Ultras – ‘work on the deployment of these materials could conceivably inform the development of future low-volume Audi model series’, the German manufacturer says. Fingers crossed…

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