The long-term and exclusive partnership between Audi and Voith will focus on the further development and automated production of fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) materials for use in future automotive projects and volume production.

“Fibre reinforced polymers offer weight and strength advantages, which we have already put to use in the Audi R8 and the Audi RS 3 Sportback, for instance," reports said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG. "We want to use these advantages for high-volume production as well, and therefore the focus of our partnership with Voith is on specific car projects.”

“We are concentrating on the manufacturing and recyclability of fibre reinforced materials in the interest of a sustainable material cycle. After all, part of our corporate responsibility is to face the challenge of harmonising economic and environmental interests as we move toward using fibre reinforced polymers in high-volume production.”

For several years, Voith has been involved with the use of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) in industrial plant design, such as in lightweight construction components in paper machines or in drive engineering. With the help of the development partnership with Audi, Voith will now be able to apply its technological know-how to the automotive sector as well.

Voith sees major potential for growth in the use of FRP in high-volume production, especially in the automotive market.

“For Voith, technologies for the use of fibre-composite materials in industrial production are a key strategic competence," says Dr Hubert Lienhard, CEO of Voith GmbH. "Given the ever-greater requirements for efficiency, coupled with the need to protect the environment and conserve resources, we are certain that this competence will be demanded by more and more markets in the future."

Audi already possesses solid experience in lightweight construction and has successfully introduced new materials into high-volume production.

Lightweight construction at Audi

Lightweight construction is one of the core competences of Audi. The car maker relies on 'intelligent composite design.' Materials like aluminium, steel and magnesium, as well as composite materials like CFRP, are used where they bring the most benefits in terms of lightweight construction. Audi has many years of experience in the use of composites. Its Neckarsulm site in Germany in a technical research unit for FRP.

Audi AG’s wholly owned subsidiaries include Automobili Lamborghini Holding SpA and quattro GmbH.