Can plastic wheels improve fuel efficiency?
Soon, drivers of the new 2015 Audi A8 will have a chance to find out. The refreshed version of Audi's flagship will be offered with wheels made from a composite material called Chromtec. The wheel manufacturer, Lacks Wheel Trim Systems, says the wheel comprises "a lightweight structural backbone and a design surface that consists of a proprietary high-impact modified polymer, proprietary urethane cellular foam system and true metallic finishes." The new material, it says, will save roughly 38.8 pounds per vehicle--a substantial amount even on a large like the Audi A8.
2013 Frankfurt Motor Show
Reducing weight typically leads to an improvement in fuel economy, and on a sedan as big as the A8, any weight savings is a significant achievement.
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