Car Weight Reduction: Reducing Automotive Interior Weight With a High-End and Tech Interior
The word “lightweighting” is on every auto manufacturer’s lips lately and for good reason. Lightweighting, or reducing the weight of a car, is essential for staying competitive in an evolving market.
The results of this change in thinking can be dramatic. For example, the world’s most popular truck, the F-150, dropped 700 pounds by switching to an aluminum bed and body in 2015.
Manufacturers are reducing car weight in different ways and for different reasons. Keep reading to learn all of the new techniques manufacturers are using to lose weight while still delivering a high-tech vehicle customers love.
Building a Safer Vehicle
Safety is the consumer’s top deciding factor when searching for a new car. In this respect, the new, lightweight materials being used today delivers.
Before, heavy steel was used in car bodies. It might’ve seemed safe, but that weight transferred the kinetic energy to the passengers.
Now, the lighter materials are designed to crumple on impact. That way, they absorb most of the blow.
Let’s face it: one of the best parts of owning a car is going fast. Finding the right track where you can open it up and let your ponies run is thrilling.
If you like to race, car weight reduction can increase your speed. You’ll be able to handle tight corners like a champ.
Those who want to take it to the next level can make it ultralight with extra subtractions. You can take out the sound insulating materials and even put on lighter wheels.
It won’t necessarily be a comfortable ride, but it’ll be fast. Thanks to lightweighting, it’ll still be safe, too.
Reduced Wear and Tear
Increased performance isn’t just a bonus on the track. The weight of the car affects the wear and tear on the engine, brakes, and other internal components.
Brakes won’t be fighting against a heavy steel body hurtling down the road. The engine won’t have to work as hard to power a lighter-weight car.
These components can be made smaller and more efficient. Plus, it leaves room for more bells and whistles that make a car more appealing for consumers looking for creature comforts.
Readying for an Electric Future
Sparks are flying in the electric car market. Rising costs of fossil fuels and their impact on the environment are turning consumer’s interests into alternative energy.
Electric vehicles are poised to rule the roads in the future. They’ll need lighter-weight bodies to build on.
The field of electric vehicles is where the latest technology and reduced vehicle weight really come together. Watch these two elements work in harmony to create a more efficient, attractive vehicle of the future.
Increased Fuel Economy
For those cars that still rely on fossil fuels, lightweighting is an asset. Lightweighting increases fuel economy, which comes in second in consumer’s concerns.
It’s simple: a lighter car produces less drag. Less drag means you don’t have to use as much gas to go.
Competitive Pricing, Quality Construction
With the introduction of materials like plastic and aluminum, it might seem like quality would go down. You’ll find that these cars have quality where it counts and remains competitive in the market against vehicles that use more traditional materials.
The price of lighter weight material can ultimately cost more to produce. The cost is offset by the reduction in fuel consumption and other manufacturing efficiencies.
The price of a car with lightweight features can go up by almost 3%. The cost is absorbed by the various other high-tech benefits, keeping the price competitive and the product attractive.
A lightweight car doesn’t just perform better. Every component is optimized for maximum efficiency.
With a mix of materials, you can get the best of both worlds. Light materials like carbon fiber composites or magnesium alloys improve safety ratings while high strength steel underpinnings do the heavy lifting.
Car manufacturers are also able to efficiently use every square inch. That leaves more room for high tech features while delivering the power that customers crave.
Lux Interior for Less
Leather seats are a classic way to upgrade a car’s interiors. Here, alternative materials reduce weight while increasing value.
Plastics are one of the materials that play a huge role in creating a lighter overall vehicle weight. They’ve made a lot of strides in mimicking the luxury of all leather seats, too.
Leather bumps up the cost of a car because of the time it takes to craft each seat panel. Plastics can look and feel like the real thing at a fraction of the cost.
Synthetic leather is a beautiful addition to a car’s interior. It can take far more abuse and holds up to more wear and tear over the life of the vehicle.
These fabrics are durable, easier to clean, look beautiful, and cost less. What’s there not to love?
Upgraded Instrument Panel
The instrument panel is increasingly becoming a focal point in modern vehicles. We’re far beyond displaying mileage or having a clunky radio in the middle of the dash.
Customers are looking for complex, high-tech navigation consoles that sync with their phones for entertainment options. Lightweight materials make all this attractive and possible.
Plastics and other synthetic materials can be molded around these complex entertainment and navigation hubs. Screens, dials, and instrument panels are easily accommodated by flexible modern materials.
Reduced Car Weight, Improved Overall Design and Function
Lightweighting isn’t going away any time soon. There are too many incredible benefits of reducing car weight to ignore.
Overall vehicle weight reduction makes a car safer, faster, and more efficient. It remains attractive enough both price-wise and aesthetically to compete in an expanding market.
Customers don’t have to give up any of the luxuries they demand. In fact, it only broadens their options and makes more room for the high-tech gadgets they love.
As more and better materials hit the market, vehicle performance will skyrocket. Make sure you’re delivering the power, comfort, and performance that your customers are looking for.
Not sure how to get started incorporating lightweighting into your process? Talk to us today and get information on everything from design to manufacturing so that you can stay competitive in an evolving market!