Sogefi, Audi develop new suspension spring technology

A worker cleans an Audi A3 in the final check area at the production line of the German car manufacturer's plant in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt, in this file picture taken March 11, 2013. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/Files

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian auto parts maker Sogefi and Volkswagen's VOWG_p.DE Audi have jointly developed new suspension spring technology which will result in more precise driving and lighter parts, Sogefi said on Thursday.

Sogefi’s shares rose more than 3 percent on the news, and were up 2.6 percent at 4.09 euros by 1333 GMT, outperforming a 1 percent rise in Milan’s All-Share index.

The new suspension springs, based on a technology patented by Sogefi, will be made from a glass fiber-reinforced polymer instead of steel and will weigh between 40-70 percent less than traditional steel springs, the company said.

They can be assembled on cars and light commercial vehicles without affecting the suspension system architecture, allowing for a weight reduction of 4-6 kg (8.8-13 lb) per vehicle, it added.

Audi will launch the new springs in an upper mid-size model before the end of this year.

Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Mark Potter