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Now, did you know that every year, leading body-manufacturing experts convene to discuss trends as well as scrutinise numerous body shells and series-production vehicles at the International Car-Body Benchmarking Conference? And that there’s an award called the Euro Car Body Award?

The last is where the attendees select the world’s most innovative series-built vehicle body for the year. The 12th edition of the conference, organised by Automotive Circle International and held in in Bad Nauheim, Germany late last month, saw 520 experts and a jury of specialists evaluating 14 of the latest series-production vehicles to determine a winner.

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When voting was done, the winner of the world’s most distinguished award for innovations in body manufacturing, better known as the Euro Car Body Award, was Audi’s A8, making it the fourth time Audi has taken the honours. In taking the gong, the A8 also set a new record by earning 41.11 out of a possible 50 points in the voting process.

Cetainly, there’s a lot in the Neckarsulm-made offering to have impressed the experts. The aluminium body (featuring no less than 13 grades of aluminium) weighs in at 231 kg, 30 kg less than its predecessor, but has a stiffness/weight ratio that’s increased by 20% over the previous shell. For those who enjoy such trivia, building one involves 1,847 punch-rivets, 632 self-tapping screws, 202 spot welds, 25 MIG welds, six metres of laser welds, and 44 metres of bonded seams.

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In addition to its impressive body properties, the Euro Car Body Award also recognised Audi’s pioneering concepts regarding processes, production and manufacturing as well as the company’s know-how concerning materials technology and joining techniques.

The current A8 follows in the tyre tracks of an A8 predecessor, which was the first Audi to win the award in 2003. In 2006, the TT won the award, and in 2008, it was the Q5’s turn to emerge victorious.