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The concept car is painted in the special color crystal white. The CFRP used on the exterior adds a striking touch on the hood, the roof, the sides and the trunk. In the interior the same material also adorns the door trim, the center console and the cross-bracing that replaces the rear seat bench. The developers have also fitted the bucket seats from the R8 GT to the concept study; their chassis alone, made out of fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP), reduce weight by 22 kilograms (48.50 lb). The driver does not have to make any compromises when it comes to equipment and appointments: air conditioning, electric window controls and an electromechanical parking brake come as standard on the TT ultra quattro concept. A veritable highlight: the exterior mirrors are replaced by compact cameras which transfer the images directly into the digital cockpit.
To reverse the weight spiral, the Audi ultra lightweight construction concept is applied to all elements in the automobile. The developers have further optimized each component. The front brakes feature ceramic discs with an aluminum fixed caliper, the exhaust system made out of titanium ends in a single central tailpipe. The wheels also reduce weight by 20 kilograms (44.09 lb). Spokes made out of high-strength aluminum are bolted directly to the CFRP wheel.
Every gram counts, particularly on the suspension. Here the unsprung masses have been reduced, thus improving comfort and handling. On the TT ultra quattro concept the coil springs are not made out of steel but from fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP). The core of the all-new springs consists of long glass fibers twisted together and impregnated with epoxy resin. A machine wraps additional fibers around this core, which is only a few millimeters in diameter, at alternating angles of plus and minus 45 degrees to the longitudinal axis. These layers support each other and act in either compression or tension. The use of FRP at this point cuts weight by 40 percent while maintaining good characteristics – 6 kilograms (13.23 lb) in relation to the car as a whole.
To further hone the handling of the TT, the developers have taken away weight from the ends of the car and moved it into the middle. The lithium-ion starter battery, for instance, is located in the interior under the driver’s seat. It is much smaller than a lead battery and weighs as little as just under four kilograms (8.82 lb).
Overall, all these lightweight construction measures make the concept car about 300 kilograms (661.39 lb) lighter than the comparable sporty series-production model. All of which helps minimize the inertial mass that the 228 kW (310 hp) 2.0-liter TFSI engine contends with during acceleration. The modified high-end four-cylinder unit develops its maximum torque of 400 Nm between 1,900 and 5,000 rpm, putting it on a par with the power of the V8. Modifications to the crankcase, the crankshaft, the balancer shafts, the flywheel, the oil sump, the bolts and certain ancillary units that make the engine 25 kilograms (55.12 lb) lighter have all helped get the engine into tip-top shape.
Thus the Audi TT ultra quattro concept offers the kind of driving experience that automotive fans on the Wörthersee expect from a genuine high-performance model. Like the “Ur-quattro” from 1980 and more than five million series-production vehicles since, this year’s showcar is also fitted with the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Grip is therefore always ensured despite the impressive performance. With its six speed transmission, the TT ultra quattro concept is 1.3 seconds faster than the series-production model when accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph). The top speed is 280 km/h (173.98 mph).
The Audi showcar demonstrates the technical possibilities of an intelligent mix of materials. In this way considerable weight savings can even be achieved on an existing series-production model. Usage of these technologies is conceivable for future small-batch series.