Six months after Volkswagen decided to cluster Seat with Audi and Lamborghini in a sporty brand group, the Spanish carmaker is benefiting from technical synergies. 'We have begun projects with hybrid concepts of our spaceframe technology,' said an Audi engineer who asked not to be named.
The projects include main steel-body structures with aluminum spaceframe front structures.
'Compact front-wheel-drive cars [such as Seat's] tend to become heavier because of increased safety requirements, which affects handling in a negative way,' the engineer said. 'By using aluminum spaceframes at the front and aluminum body paneling we can realize a more equal weight balance.'
BMW plans to use hybrid aluminum/steel body construction on the next 5 series.