iStream Superlight reduces vehicle body weight.
LONDON: We often hear about cutting-edge technology and materials that are going to change the motor industry, but what does make it into production is normally at the very high end of the market and if we're lucky, one day it will filter down into the mainstream.
However, the world-leading British design and engineering company Gordon Murray Design has now unveiled the latest version of its ground-breaking iStream automotive manufacturing system, and this one is aimed specifically at mainstream car production.
iStream is a system which revolutionises the way cars are made, and iStream Superlight brings Formula One-derived construction and technologies to mainstream car production by combining a high-strength aluminum frame with advanced carbon fibre composite panels.
The result is a new chassis system applicable to all vehicle segments that can reduce body weight by as much as 50%, and also promises to be the lightest, strongest and most durable platform for the foreseeable future.
Even for those who are not especially well versed in vehicle construction technology and techniques, it's not difficult to predict the advantages of a system that can reduce vehicle weight by such a large percentage. As well as improved performance, the system and its massive weight reduction also means higher levels of safety, improved handling, increased durability, reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions.
And as if those benefits are not enough to make this an incredibly exciting development, due to its modular nature, the iStream Superlight chassis core platform can be adapted for every imaginable segment of the auto industry, from supercars and ultra-fuel efficient city cars to SUVs and light commercials.
Company boss and the man responsible for designing the McLaren F1, Professor Gordon Murray, says of the system: "The new iStream Superlight approach to vehicle manufacturing is a paradigm-shifting innovation for the global automotive industry. It is a breakthrough that will deliver the lightest chassis technology for decades to come. The Gordon Murray Design team has created a unique, adaptable and cost-effective way for manufacturers around the world to dramatically improve vehicle performance and efficiency."
iStream Superlight uses a simple high-strength aluminum thin-wall tubular frame and honeycomb recycled carbon-composite chassis panels to replace the stamped metal used in the majority of mass-market vehicle production. As well as achieving new levels of rigidity, durability and platform flexibility, iStream Superlight's lightweight design delivers a structure that's up to 50 percent of the weight of traditional stamped metal.
The first car to use the technology is the Gordon Murray Automotive T.43 sports car, which is an everyday usable coupe that along with delivering exceptional performance also boasts class-leading ergonomics, visibility, and cargo capacity.