MUNICH, Germany - Rival luxury automakers are pursuing different strategies to reduce vehicle weight.
Both Jaguar and Audi use aluminum to trim the pounds that new cars gain from additional safety and comfort features. But Jaguar is committing itself to aluminum while Audi takes a more conservative approach to using the material.
Jaguar plans to use aluminum in all of its segments with the exception of the next X-Type, while Audi will use the material in two of its six models, industry sources say.
Automakers primarily use aluminum on luxury models to improve fuel efficiency because it is lighter than conventional steel.
The material is seen as a crucial part of European automakers' quest to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 140 grams per kilometer by 2008 from the current 165 grams per kilometer.
A downside is that aluminum costs more and is harder to work with than steel.
The next Audi TT will have an aluminum structure and body, but the rear of the car will be made of steel to achieve a better weight balance.
Audi also will continue to build its all-aluminum A8. But poor sales of the all-aluminum A2 have stung Audi, so it will stop producing the car in 2005.
Industry sources say that each A2 is about $500 more expensive to build than a steel version would be.
The next TT may be produced in Audi's Neckarsulm, Germany, plant, which builds the A2 and A8 as well as the A6, which has a steel architecture.
The Lamborghini Gallardo also has an aluminum spaceframe. Audi, which owns Lamborghini, is considering making an SUV based on the Gallardo in 2006.