Many New Year’s resolutions will be distant memories already, but Nissan is sticking to its commitment – to shed the pounds on its passenger car range – for the whole of 2016 and beyond.
The company’s ‘Lightweighting Programme’ will produce a pioneering prototype material structure designed to be used in the floor of the vehicles of the future.
Working closely with the UK supply chain, Nissan will draw on the materials and techniques used in the motorsport and aerospace industries including the materials used in space travel.
David Moss, Vice President of Vehicle Design & Development, said: “The next 12 months promise to bring not resolutions, but revolutions, as the brand marches forward with yet more ‘Innovation That Excites’. This programme is another demonstration of our commitment to developing the cars of tomorrow, today.
He added: “We know the cars of the future will need to be lighter, stronger and more efficient, that is why we are launching our prototype programme in collaboration with research and industry bodies across the UK. This programme intends to produce a new manufacturing process that will revolutionise the industry.”
In addition to the ‘Lightweighting Programme’ Nissan is involved in an extensive mass reduction programme, which has resulted in a 90kg weight loss for the X-trail and 40kg for the new Qashqai. Under this existing programme, Nissan engineers use lighter stronger materials while still allowing for the extensive addition of extra equipment.
Nissan’s efforts in the ‘Lightweighting Programme’ will improve performance, fuel consumption and counteract the weight of the increasing amount of technology being built into vehicles. The prototype being produced will test the viability of the new part.
Nissan is undertaking this work as part of the LX consortium of auto manufacturers and research bodies. It is led by Sigmatex and supported by Axillium Research, in partnership with Cranfield University, Engenuity, Expert Tooling & Automation, Granta Design, Group Rhodes, LMAT, Surface Generation and Tilsatec. The consortium seeks to enhance the capability within the UK automotive supply chain to manufacture composite components.
The LX programme is funded by the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, set up by the UK Government to help existing UK supply chains grow and achieve world-class standards