Towards affordable super-light cars
SuperLIGHT-CAR (SLC) was an R&D collaboration led by 7 car manufacturers, involving in total 37 organizations, aiming for 30-50% lighter multi-material, affordable concepts for mass produced vehicles. The project, that lasted during 4,5 years and finished last July 31st, 2009, was one of the main collaborations of the European automotive industry in the area of light weight technologies.
A multi-material approach to optimize weight
Since the 90´s, much focus has been put on lightweight materials that would optimize the emission-performance relation in cars, resulting in vehicles 60% lighter than the benchmark steel unibody. However, the fabrication of mass-produced cars, which is the segment responsible for most of the CO2 emissions, continues being driven by traditional approaches. SLC aimed to overcome this through a multi-material approach, optimizing the weight and costs for each vehicle part.
Realizing the ambition requires collaboration
This ambition required the joining of a broad range of expertise and resources not to be found in any single organisation. It has also required the skills to manage a large variety of (sometimes conflicting) partner interests.
B&W was hired in the definition phase to streamline and detail the project concept into a work plan together with potential partners. We then translated the concept into a project proposal that was co-funded by the EC under the 6th Framework Programme. Since then, B&W has been supporting the decision-making processes at all levels to ensure the project´s success.
Final result exceeded the initial objectives
SuperLIGHT-Car has demonstrated one efficient solution for the car-body weight reduction of 35%, an impressive achievement for a mass-produced compact car.
To ensure the applicability of the concept, SuperLIGHT-Car also demonstrated the economic potential and even developed specifyc tools for concept designers.
Since it was presented, back in May 2009, SuperLIGHT-Car’s full body-in-white prototype can be seen in the most important automotive R&D conferences around Europe.
Web: SuperLIGHT-CAR project