Jaguar: aluminum-intensive XE will feature fuel consumption lower than 4L/100km; structure is 75% aluminum
29 July 2014
|The aluminum body of the XE. Click to enlarge.|
In the second of four technology previews leading up to the introduction of the new Jaguar XE on 8 September, Jaguar outlined its extensive use of aluminum in the new model. Designed around Jaguar’s modular vehicle architecture, the XE is the only car in the class to use an aluminum-intensive monocoque, with lightweight aluminum accounting for 75% of the structure.
The new aluminum-intensive SE will be paired with engines from the new Ingenium family of efficient diesel and gasoline engines (earlier post)—powertrains specifically designed and calibrated to complement reduced-weight vehicles. Jaguar projects that the resulting XE will achieve fuel consumption of less that 4.0 l/100 km (59 mpg US) on the NEDC combined cycle (subject to certification) and CO2 emissions of less than 100 g/km.
The Jaguar XE is also the first car to make use of a new grade of high-strength aluminum called RC 5754 which was developed specifically for the XE and can take up to 50% recycled content—making a significant contribution to Jaguar’s goal of using 75% recycled material by 2020. The high percentage of recycled content also reduces lifecycle emissions by requiring less electricity in production.
Lightweight construction is a core element of Jaguar’s DNA and Jaguar is at the fore of aluminum technology in the automotive industry. The Jaguar XJ, XK and F-Type have all been developed using exceptionally stiff bonded and riveted aluminum structures; now the XE becomes the latest model to use this technology, now in its fifth generation.
The Jaguar XE body uses over 75% aluminum content, which far exceeds any other car in its class. This gives us a body structure with unrivaled low weight: it’s light but also immensely strong with extremely high levels of torsional stiffness. We’ve made sure our aluminum-intensive body structure exceeds all global safety standards without compromising on vehicle design or refinement.—Dr. Mark White, Jaguar’s Chief Technical Specialist; Body Complete
The structure also delivers exceptional torsional stiffness. The light but strong architecture incorporates highly advanced suspension systems delivering ride quality, handling and steering, Jaguar says.
Chassis technologies. In the first technology preview, Jaguar previewed some of the chassis technologies for the new XE, including its integral link rear suspension, unique to this segment.
The Integral Link suspension delivers benefits over conventional multi-link designs, Jaguar said. By providing lateral and longitudinal stiffness, the integral link delivers sharp response and handling while retaining a refined, luxurious ride.
Many components of the Integral Link suspension have been forged or hollow-cast in aluminum.
XE’s front suspension is based on that of an F-TYPE sports car. Mounted to a subframe with cast aluminum suspension towers, the XE’s double wishbone front suspension delivers high levels of handling and road-holding, according to the company.
The advanced design includes some key components designed to deliver Jaguar XFR-levels of stiffness. These ensure the XE enjoys a similar level of agility and connected steering feel. Like the rear suspension, many components are made from cast and forged aluminum and some are produced using a patented process.
XE will also become the first Jaguar to be equipped with the latest generation Electric Power Assisted Steering. The new software algorithms now allow much greater scope for tuning than hydraulic-based systems and deliver better quality steering feel. Other benefits include variable steering damping, ease of low-speed maneuvering and the ability to adapt to Jaguar Drive Control settings. EPAS also enables a range of Active Safety and Driver Aid features.
Jaguar has also developed All Surface Progress Control, a new feature in its class. ASPC works like a low-speed cruise control to deliver optimum traction in the most slippery conditions without skidding and without the driver using the pedals.
|Click to enlarge.|
Designed and engineered in the UK, the XE will be the first Jaguar to be manufactured at a new purpose-built production facility at the company's Solihull plant in the West Midlands in the UK.
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