The Ingolstadt-based brand has a very long relationship with metal, hearkening all the way back to the inception days of the company – for example back in 1923 the Type K was featuring a 3.6-liter engine with an aluminum cylinder block.
The company has decided to highlight the importance of the lightweight material throughout its history, so its own museum in Ingolstadt has just opened a new exhibition specifically designed to host Audi’s most important aluminum cars. Naturally the piece de resistance on display is the Avus Quattro, a concept dating back to 1991 when it was revealed in front of the worldwide audience of the Tokyo Motor Show. It was at the time tipping the scales at a mere 1,250 kilograms (2,755 pounds), all the while featuring a humongous 6.0-liter W12 engine with 502 horsepower delivered to all four wheels.
Of course, with low weight and high horsepower count, performance was excellent even for today’s standards – 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) took only three seconds while maximum speed reached 210 mph (334 kph). The prototype never saw the light of day on the production roster, but its Audi Space Frame became the technical basis for numerous series produced models. The ASF concept – also showcased – was the pre-production study of the first-generation A8, which in turn came out with a 40 percent weight reduction when compared to a standard steel body. In 2002, the A2 supermini was also of the lightweight category – the basic tipped the scales at 895 kg (1,973 pounds). Also on display is a naked R8 5.2 FSI Quattro showcar from 2009 – the exhibit lasts until March 4, 2018.