Lately, all car manufacturers are pressed by environmental issues to lower their emissions. In order to achieve lower fuel consumption, many car makers use various engine technologies: turbochargers, direct injection systems on gasoline engines and downsizing. However, there is a more simple way to a more economical and dynamic car: losing weight.
Nissan understood it and managed to cut weight at two SUVs: X-Trail lost as much as 90kg, and the new Qashqai about 40kg. In order to lose so much weight, engineers used new lighter and stronger materials, so the two SUVs are not only lighter, but also more rigid. These are not isolated cases in Nissan range. The Japanese car maker started a new project, called “Lightweighting Programme”, which includes all it’s future vehicle range. In this programme, the researchers will produce a prototype material starting from those used in motorsport, aerospace and even space travel. This composite material will be used in following years to manufacture the floor of the new cars.
“The next 12 months promise to bring not resolutions, but revolutions, as the brand marches forward with yet more ‘Innovation That Excites’”, declared David Moss, Vice President, Vehicle Design & Development. “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 revolutionize the industry.”, he concluded.
As you know, Nissan is not the only car maker to cut off car weight. On the contrary, all the manufacturers develop strategies of losing kilograms. This can only make us happy: less weight means more agility and, therefore, more pleasure to drive. It also means that extra equipment can be fitted without having an excessively heavy car.