Audi’s designers have been awarded two coveted trophies for the A6’s lightweight-construction body. Franziska Moennig, Chair of the Presiding Committee of the “Automotive Circle International”, congratulated the winning teams at the Audi Forum Neckarsulm on Thursday. The planners and designers had succeeded in significantly reducing the weight of the A6 body through the use of a steel-aluminum composite construction and advanced joining and production techniques.
Audi won first prize in the Doors & Closures Innovation Award for the design and development of the fully pressed aluminum system doors. These doors are more than 20 kilograms lighter than on the previous model. The jury commended how the challenging design brief had been executed with a combination of lightweight-construction materials and with the help of new test methods. By applying simulation tools, rigidity was increased even though less material was used.
Instead of the previously customary steel doors, the new A6 has fully pressed aluminum system doors of double-shell construction. Nowadays, car doors incorporate not just the door lock and the electric window mechanism, but also various infotainment system components.
Second prize in the EuroCarBody Award also went to Audi. This is the most prestigious international award in the body manufacturing sphere. The major achievement of the sedan with the four rings was its weight saving of 15 percent compared with the previous version. Aluminum components account for more than 20 percent of the body. The suspension strut mounts in the forward structure are cast components. Lightweight aluminum profiles were used for the struts in the engine compartment and the cross members behind the bumpers. Materials such as high-end steels play a key role in the new Audi A6. For instance, form-hardened steels acquire their extreme strength as a result of a deliberate abrupt temperature change during the pressing process. These grades are used in the passenger compartment at the transition with the forward structure. All add-on parts of the new Audi A6 such as the engine hood, trunk lid and passenger doors are made from sheet aluminum.
Plant Manager Albrecht Reimold, who collected the awards on behalf of the members of the Planning, Design and Production departments, remarked: “The lightweight body construction concept for the new A6 Sedan demonstrates our powers of innovation and puts us at the very forefront of our field of competitors.” Audi has already won awards for its vehicle bodies on several occasions: The Audi A8 came first in the EuroCarBody Award in 2003 and 2010. The Audi TT received this distinction in 2006, with the Audi Q5 sport utility vehicle following suit in 2008. In 2009 the Audi R8 Spyder was the first ultra-sporty derivative to gain a top-three place in the EuroCarBody Award.