News of November 2, 1999
Page 3 of 4
modifications to TT sports cars
Easier to control close to the stability limits; no charge
|Ingolstadt - As announced, AUDI AG revealed the technical features that
are to be modified with a view to altering the road behaviour of its successful Audi TT
sports car. The Ingolstadt-based company is thus responding to recent criticism of the
car's handling in certain situations at high speed close to the limits of stability.
Audi TT Roadster with its new rear spoiler
|The scheduled measures affect both the car's suspension and
its aerodynamic performance. Modified stabilizers are to be fitted to the front suspension
of front-wheel-drive models, and quattro versions will have these stabilizers fitted at
both front and rear. A correspondingly modified wishbone will be fitted at the front,
together with firmer damper settings at the front and rear.
In addition to these
suspension modifications, the TT will receive a rear spoiler. With the modified suspension
settings and the rear spoiler, the TT will retain its satisfying agility, while the limits
of stability will be spread over a broader range, with the result that drivers will find
the car easier to keep under control.
As of the beginning of December the modifications will start going into series
production. Meanwhile, Audi will be requesting all TT owners to bring their car into a
workshop to have the modified and additional components fitted free of charge. For
production and logistical reasons, the after-sales measures will be implemented in two
phases: the suspension modifications will be carried out first, followed by the
retrofitting of the spoiler. Once the necessary parts are available, Audi dealers will be
able to perform the modifications for customers at short notice.
second AmericaOne keel at Dearborn Plant
|DEARBORN, Mich. The same plant that the sheet metal
for your Mustang or Taurus comes from is shipping out an unusual piece of equipment today.
Ford Motor Company finished machining a 2,000-pound stainless steel sail boat racing
keel today at the Rouge Tool & Die Plant. The keel will be shipped to New Zealand to
the AmericaOne challenger for the 2000 Americas Cup. The team completed a successful
opening week of racing in Auckland by winning seven of eight races through Wednesday.
Before America's Cup racing began, AmericaOne skipper Paul Cayard visited
Ford's Rouge Tool & Die Plant.
|The keel started as a 6,000-pound slab of stainless steel and
was meticulously whittled down to under 2,000 pounds with an advanced milling tool. The
slab was first delivered to the plant in early September and was then machined 24 hours a
day for nearly 40 days.
Ford is pushing the technical envelope by becoming the first
auto maker to take an Americas Cup keel from concept to finished product. Ford has
been instrumental in designing and testing the keel that is highly secretive because of
its important role in affecting racing speed. Ford worked closely with an AmericaOne to
optimize the keels hydrodynamic design with advanced computer modeling applications.
The keel will be fitted to the teams second boat which will then be tested while the
first boat competes in early racing matches. The team employs a two-boat strategy to keep
the best performing yacht in top condition for later rounds. Each boat has a unique design
suited for certain weather conditions.
"Stainless steel is an extremely complex metal to mill, weve certainly
learned a lot from machining the AmericaOne keel," said Ron Lavack, a machine
operator at Rouge Tool & Die. "This project has really generated excitement
around the plant, people are always stopping by and asking about the team. I stamped my
name inside one of the holes so the team knows they have our support back here in
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