50 percent of Audi TT successor made of aluminum

Ingolstadt, Germany. The new Audi TT, which will be launched in 2006, will not have an aluminum body shell, unlike the A8 and A2.

In an interview with Automobilwoche, Audi boss Martin Winterkorn denied rumors about a pure aluminum sports car. "The share of aluminum used for the new TT will be 50 percent," said Winterkorn. "The car will be bigger but still lighter than its predecessor."

Only 20 percent of the current TT is made of aluminum. On the successor, more aluminum will be used for the doors, fenders and roof.

The current TT is assembled in Gyoer, Hungary. The body shells are manufactured in Ingolstadt and are transported to Hungary by train.

Winterkorn rejected rumors that the VW subsidiary planned to move the TT assembly to Germany. He said, "Our plants in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm are working to full capacity." The annual capacity at the two locations is 750,000 units.

Supposedly the Hungarian government offered subsidies so Audi would continue building the TT at the Gyoer plant. Audi's chief executive director would not confirm this.

The location in Hungary has several advantages. Labor costs are only a sixth of German wages. And, according to a spokesman, the production plants can be used 24/7.

Winterkorn confirmed that the Volkswagen subsidiary will decide by year end if the super sports car that was introduced as the "Le Mans" prototype will be built. "It has good prospects and could be built quicker than you might think."

Officials said that the project would be worth it and that now only a "formal decision" has to be made.

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