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Discussion Starter #1
Right Alfisti, if there's one thing I love it's my Q4 Brera, the one thing I'm less keen on is that it's not as sharp to drive as it should be. That is about to change, but first some analysis, I've heard it said a few times that the Brera, 3.2 V6 Q4 especially is heavy, and there's no doubting it's no Lotus Exige, but is it widely heavier than its rivals? And how much weight can be lost by a lightening exercise?

I know the exact weight of some cars is debated so I've tried to use the same source:

Alfa Brera

Pre 2008 V6 Q4 1605kgs
V6 Non Q4 1540kgs
V6 S. 1505kgs
2.2. 1445kgs
2.2S 1410kgs
1750 1430kgs

Golf R32 1617kgs
(not saying it's the same but a 3.2 V6 that's 4WD)

And when weight saving how much do supercar manufacturers save?

Lamborghini Gallardo 1570kgs, Superleggera was '100kgs lighter'
Ferrari 430 1450kgs, 'Challange' variant '100kgs lighter', there's a theme here.

Ok so as a starting point there's about 195kgs between Brera models, mine being the heaviest. Secondly, people that make v fast cars save about 100kgs with their Lightweight versions.

Two things remain, how much does my car actually weight? I'll have to wait for a bit for that as I don't have a weight station nearby.

And finally, how the hell can I lose weight, preferably over the front axle, in spades, all while hopefully not taking all of the GT element of our lovely Breras. Let's see....
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Project Alleggrita

Firstly, mods I have are:

Bilstein B16 three way adjustable PSS10 coil overs. These are excellent and the best mod I've done, in soft they are much softer than OEM, in hard they are really firm. Oddly one of the biggest differences I noticed was the brakes felt a lot sharper. A lot have commented on the Brera's mushy brakes, seems to me a lot of this is nod rather than the brakes directly.

Autolusso braided hoses
Power flex bushes
Autolusso PF pads, again excellent, taken to Alps four times and thrashed the brakes and they worked great.
Wizard Backboxes
Halos, don't make it go quicker but do look awesome.
iPad mini dash, use tomtom app and have larger screen, it's good but soon to be replaced by Apple TV so it's all wireless and I can remove iPad.
 

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What's an iPad mini dash? Have you fixed it into your dashboard? Any pics
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
What's an iPad mini dash? Have you fixed it into your dashboard? Any pics
I fixed it in my dashboard so it looks as flush as I could manage without making it irreversible.

I used a router to take the lip inside the dash down to about 2mm, the hole in a Brera/159 is near as damn it iPad mini screen size.

Then I laser cut some cutouts to make the hole thing neater, I also laser cut some cut outs to fit in the ashtray hole, this contains a dual usb socket, halo lights on/off switch and a saetchi home button. The button allows me to activate Siri while I drive so it's hand free.

The iPad is powered by a Sony MEX heady it I have in my seat delete. The Sony units are the only ones I've found that let you control the stereo from the iPad rather than the other way around. It's all via an app called "app remote". It all works very well and means I have live traffic and speed cameras with really class screen using the Tom Tom app. The heady it has Bluetooth so you an connect your phone separately and make calls, the Sony also means that steering controls work for volume and skip. I then added a wifi ODB2 adapter so I could use dash command on the iPad. Some of the pictures are dark because I either washed out the screen or underexposed the dash.

Switching to Apple TV purely as don't really like having my iPad in my dash, although that's a bit silly as it's actually worth less than most high end headunits.
 

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With any weight saving project vs improved performance of any wheeled vehicle the main area to target is the wheels. Stock Alfa alloys are not especially light and often just as heavy as steel equivalents, so I would look at alternative rims. The weight of one tyre against another brand can vary enormously too but you have to think about what characteristics you require of them. In addition to them you have the weight of the disc rotors and calipers to think about too but probably significant weight savings here too. The exhaust system probably weighs a ton too and I'm sure lighter alternatives are available. The Brera isn't exactly known for its rear passenger facilities so why not just get rid of some redundant and heavy seats. The front seats could also be jettisoned for some lighter sporty items.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
With any weight saving project vs improved performance of any wheeled vehicle the main area to target is the wheels. Stock Alfa alloys are not especially light and often just as heavy as steel equivalents, so I would look at alternative rims. The weight of one tyre against another brand can vary enormously too but you have to think about what characteristics you require of them. In addition to them you have the weight of the disc rotors and calipers to think about too but probably significant weight savings here too. The exhaust system probably weighs a ton too and I'm sure lighter alternatives are available. The Brera isn't exactly known for its rear passenger facilities so why not just get rid of some redundant and heavy seats. The front seats could also be jettisoned for some lighter sporty items.[/QUO


Funny you say that, my thoughts exactly. I have started work on a few things already, as well as ordering some carbon one piece bucket seats!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Seating wise I have removed the rear seats, weights to follow, although the first piece of the rear seats (the larger half) weighted 24kgs and the spare wheel was 18kgs, so that's 42kgs gone already minimum. I've made a temporary rear seat delete from hard insulating foam covered in speaker cloth.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Its fine but moves about a bit and I think the rear seats do brace the car a little bit. So the solution is a carbon rear seat back and a foam base. It will be very very stiff and act like a strut brace but between the three mounting points for the seats.

The wooden one is the one Ive fabricated as a buck, its yet to get flatted before its molded and then I'm using resin infusion to make the carbon one. Ive attached some pictures of the basic effect im going for.

Resin infusion is really stiff too, I made the brackets that hold on the undertray out of carbon. 4 layers thick and I could stand on it each side of a brick and jump up and down with no flex, this seat will be more like 10 layers.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Next project is the roof though. I have a spare roof from a breakers yard. Polished it to death and then molded that. Ive checked that this isnt structural so I'm doing 2xlayers of carbon, foam core and then two more layers. That way its exactly the same thickness as the glass but the foam core will make it stiffer while being very very light. Attached is a pic of an M3 with a crabon roof as inspiration and the progress so far:
 

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Hi AlfaBreraQ4

I have 4 weight pads acurate to 2kg that I use for work, if you'r ever down near Elstree Hertfordshire I can weight the car for you.

just PM me with dates.

Tracer
 

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Blimey, you really are going for it! I didn't think to ask if you had the panoramic sunroof (which is far too heavy) and your solution is radical and top quality. I am not surprised about the rear seats massive weight saving but never expected them to be so integral to the stiffness and stability of the Brera, so your solution is also radical and top quality too.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
With any weight saving project vs improved performance of any wheeled vehicle the main area to target is the wheels. Stock Alfa alloys are not especially light and often just as heavy as steel equivalents, so I would look at alternative rims. The weight of one tyre against another brand can vary enormously too but you have to think about what characteristics you require of them. In addition to them you have the weight of the disc rotors and calipers to think about too but probably significant weight savings here too. The exhaust system probably weighs a ton too and I'm sure lighter alternatives are available. The Brera isn't exactly known for its rear passenger facilities so why not just get rid of some redundant and heavy seats. The front seats could also be jettisoned for some lighter sporty items.
On the wheels by the way, you are dead right, weight saved here is even more important. I have the 18" silver teledial wheels with PZero Neros, tey weight a ton, well 25Kgs each. There's much debate about what the multiple is of weight saved on rotating mass, so lets just say its definitely more than 1! Tyre choice does make a massive difference, Toyo R888's for instance are a great track tyre but their stiff sidewalls make them much heavier than many premium summer tyres. Dunlop Sport Maxxs RT seem to come up well for weight and performance. I'm looking at 17" Oz Alleggritas as they are the lightest TUV approved wheel, or Team Dynamics 1.3. Both are sub 9Kgs, with tyres being around 12 (from independent figures). That makes for a saving of around 4.5Kgs per wheel, or 18Kgs ish of rotating mass in total. Which to me seems a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi AlfaBreraQ4

I have 4 weight pads acurate to 2kg that I use for work, if you'r ever down near Elstree Hertfordshire I can weight the car for you.

just PM me with dates.

Tracer
Thanks, the cars in bits having panels molded as we speak but I may take you up on weighting it after. I can at least weight the stuff I remove and work out what it would have weighted before.
 

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Blimey, you really are going for it! I didn't think to ask if you had the panoramic sunroof (which is far too heavy) and your solution is radical and top quality. I am not surprised about the rear seats massive weight saving but never expected them to be so integral to the stiffness and stability of the Brera, so your solution is also radical and top quality too.

The Sky View roof glass is about 15kgs, which while not THAT much is right at the top, so bad news for CofG. I think all Brera's have thge glass roof, there were rumours that early ones came with steel roofs but dont think anyone confirmed that. In typical Alfa fashion the difference between SV and Non SV (including S models) was that you had a hole in the headlining and a motor. I'm taking the headlining out next week to check weight of motor.
 

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great work. saving on unsprung weight is always good.
 

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Awesome project AlfaBreraQ4! You're probably already doing this but I might as well mention them;

Fibreglass/carbon fibre hood - this is probably one of the panels you are taking a mold of already, what other panels are you creating lightweight replacements for?

Lightweight battery - lifepo4 is extremely light, a little pricey $525 for 600cca on ebay but only 3.2 kg!
A custom carbon fibre battery tray would be nice and the battery connections could be simplified a little.

As mentioned full lightweight stainless exhaust including engine manifolds and fixed fibreglass/carbon seats
Floating discs with aluminium hats, and aluminium driveshaft from front to rear - combined with the lightweight wheels will be a very nice rotating mass reduction.
 

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... aluminium driveshaft from front to rear
A carbon-fibre prophaft would weigh next to nothing.... almost float away light!!
The connections at each end give it weight, but the prop itself is crazy light.
 
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Am rather enjoing this subject, not much to add to it apart from, go crazy.
So pose as already been said easiest route is bolt on stuff, and rotating stuff, wheels/tyres, battery
 

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all credit to you for what your doing for weight reduction, it will be interesting to see what the final weigh in shows.:)
Are you doing track days with this? have you done any bench mark times to gauge performance and to asses progress in the future?
It will probably sound naff but for all the years of work I've put into the car and testing to lower my lap times at Brands, the biggest difference was with practice practice practice and road/track tires like Michelin Pilot Super Sports.:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Awesome project AlfaBreraQ4! You're probably already doing this but I might as well mention them;

Fibreglass/carbon fibre hood - this is probably one of the panels you are taking a mold of already, what other panels are you creating lightweight replacements for?

Lightweight battery - lifepo4 is extremely light, a little pricey $525 for 600cca on ebay but only 3.2 kg!
A custom carbon fibre battery tray would be nice and the battery connections could be simplified a little.

As mentioned full lightweight stainless exhaust including engine manifolds and fixed fibreglass/carbon seats
Floating discs with aluminium hats, and aluminium driveshaft from front to rear - combined with the lightweight wheels will be a very nice rotating mass reduction.
Carbon Battery tray you say? Great minds think alike, its a bit rough, but super light as I made the ECU bracket out of carbon too. This holds the ECU and a small waterproof box with a custom setup for the battery distribution panel and halo controllers. The battery is now in the boot spare wheel well, as will be the washer bottle soon. Battery and old tray was 25Kgs plus, thats now a little less and not over the front wheels.
 

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