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Audi highlights next A8's lightweight construction

by Ronan Glon

The next A8 will use magnesium, aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber.

Audi's next-generation A8 is lighter and stiffer than the model it replaces.

The sedan's design will remain under wraps until it debuts in the fall. However, Audi points out the A8 benefits from a blend of aluminum, steel, magnesium, and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer.

Aluminum components make up 58 percent of the A8's body, according to the company. The passenger cell is built out of hot-formed steel, while the rear panel that separates the passenger and the cargo compartments is crafted out of carbon fiber. Finally, a magnesium strut brace held down with aluminum bolts helps improve torsional rigidity.

Audi isn't ready to provide specific details such as how much the next A8 weighs.

A purpose-built facility in the company's Neckarsulm, Germany, factory will manufacture the next-generation A8 using some of the industry's most advanced production techniques. The new body shop is 134 feet tall, and it required 14,400 metric tons of steel to build. In comparison, the Eiffel Tower in Paris is made up of 7,000 tons of steel.

The next-generation Audi A8 will make its public debut in the fall at the Frankfurt Auto Show. It will arrive in showrooms next year as a 2018 model.

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