Mass, Performance Targets for Steel Vehicle Concept Reflect Next Breakthrough in Structurally Efficient Design

Steel-Intensive Platform Can Enable Vehicle Makers To Focus More on Optimizing Powertrain Efficiency

DETROIT, MI, February 16, 2000 – The ULSAB-AVC (Advanced Vehicle Concepts) Consortium has set mass, performance and other targets for its advanced concepts vehicle that can help automakers in their efforts to build the next generation of safe, affordable, fuel efficient and environmentally responsible vehicles. One of the key objectives for the ULSAB-AVC project, which is scheduled for completion in mid-2001, is to help automakers use new steels and advanced manufacturing processes more effectively to build leaner, more structurally efficient vehicles.

To achieve structural efficiency in the vehicles they design, engineers must ensure that those vehicles have all they need to perform optimally – no more, no less. A structurally efficient vehicle is analogous to a lean, fit human body, with minimal fat, capable of optimal performance. By focusing on building structurally efficient vehicles, automakers can optimize their designs, use less material and improve fuel economy.

The mass targets of the ULSAB-AVC design for a PNGV*-size vehicle would fall in a range of approximately 2276 lbs. (1034 kg) to 2375 lbs. (1077 kg), depending on specific engine selection.

By comparison, the total vehicle mass of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles* (PNGV) prototypes from Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. are in an equivalent range. Ford’s Prodigy weighs 2,387 lbs. (1083 kg). GM’s Precept weighs 2,587 lbs. (1173 kg). While a comparison of the ULSAB-AVC conceptual design with the Prodigy and Precept is not precisely equivalent, it strongly suggests that by using a highly efficient, steel-based platform, vehicle makers can shift resources to improving the powertrain, the most optimal means of achieving the goals of the PNGV.

Unlike Ford’s or GM’s prototypes, which use large amounts of expensive materials such as aluminum and composites, the ULSAB-AVC design will result in a highly efficient design with new steel-intensive architecture that uses new steels and innovative manufacturing processes. Similar to both prototypes, ULSAB-AVC will incorporate state-of-art powertrain technology, aerodynamics and low rolling resistance tires.

The mass target is among a comprehensive range of objectives, which also include those for vehicle performance, emissions and other parameters for two classes of vehicles: European C-Class and North American PNGV-Class. ULSAB-AVC elected to create two variations of its design to accommodate the slightly different requirements on both continents.

In establishing its targets, the Consortium assigned top priority to meeting anticipated North American and European government safety requirements for 2004. In addressing that priority, the Consortium has specified that the ULSAB-AVC designs pass a series of stringent crashworthiness events, including front, side, rear, roof crush and side pole impact. (A full description of these events is available in Technical Transfer Dispatch [TTD] #2 on http://www.autosteel.org.)

Designing a vehicle for optimal performance in a crash typically requires adding mass. ULSAB-AVC has accounted for this by allowing the mass to increase by as much as 55 lbs. (25 kg). However, it seeks to offset this safety-related potential mass increase by using advanced steels, innovative manufacturing and joining technologies and other innovations.

Additional target setting priorities include the mass of all main components (including standard and optional equipment for safety, comfort and convenience), vehicle dimensions, emissions, structural and vehicle performance, and leveraging one of steel’s greatest advantages – its affordability, particularly for high volume manufacturing.

ULSAB-AVC Total Vehicle Mass Targets: Summary

 

Component Name

C-Class

PNGV-Class

Diesel

kg

Gasoline

Kg

Diesel

Kg

Gasoline

kg

Body Structure

183 (+25)*

203 (+25)*

Closures Structure

71.5

104.0

Glazing

32.0

33.0

Chassis

198.5

198.5

Engine

183.5

143.5

184.50

144.5

Gear Box

50.0

50.0

Interior

173.0

192.0

Exterior

4.5

6.5

Electrics

41.7

41.5

Automotive Fluid

44.0

41.0

44.0

41.0

Paint

16.0

20.0

Total

998 (+25)*

955 (+25)*

1077 (+25)*

1034 (+25)*

ULSAB-AVC’s targets for structural rigidity are significantly greater than those for PNGV.

ULSAB-AVC Body Structure Rigidity Targets

Performance*

ULSAB-AVC Targets

PNGV Target

C-Class

PNGV-Class

Static Torsional Rigidity Nm/deg.

³ 12000

³ 13000

³ 7500

Static Bending Rigidity N/mm

³ 11000

³ 12020

³ 6500

* Body Structure with glass

ULSAB-AVC Vehicle Dimensions Targets

SAE
Index

Exterior

C-Class

PNGV-Class

Comments

L103

Overall Length/mm

4100(±100)

4750

 

W103

Overall Width/mm

1750(±50)

1822(± 50)

 

H100

Overall Height/mm

1400(±50)

1374

At Curb Weight

W101

Track - Front /mm

1530(±20)

1529(± 20)

W102

Track – Rear/mm

1530(±20)

1529(± 20)

L101

Wheelbase
/mm

TBD

³ 2743

C-Class, depending on pkg.

__

Frontal
Area/m²

£ 2.0

£ 2.0

W3

Shoulder
Room
Front/mm

1402

1402

W4

Shoulder
Room
Rear/mm

³ 1350

1389

Avg. C-Class

__

Interior Volume/m³

³ VW
Golf IV

2.70

__

Trunk Volume
/ m³

³ VW
Golf IV

0.44

__

Passenger Capacity

5

5

 

Turning Circle
/ m

£ 11

TBD

*

* PNGV-Class, depending on wheelbase, same front suspension layout as C-Class

Porsche Engineering Services, Inc. (PES), Troy, Mich., which is conducting the project on behalf of the Consortium, collected benchmarking data from current production European C-Class and North American PNGV-Class vehicles, as well as vehicles with a curb mass in the 2,000-lb (907 kg) range. Additionally, to gather the newest and most accurate data for the program, PES purchased a Ford Focus and Peugeot 206, which it dismantled and evaluated.

For PNGV-Class vehicles, ULSAB-AVC references PNGV size and performance criteria. PNGV’s specified safety requirements are based on early/mid-1990 vehicle standards. However, the PNGV program requires that the driveable prototypes due in 2004 will meet safety standards current at that time.

For CO2 emissions, the project will use the 2004 EUCAR target of a fleet average of 140g/km. (EUCAR is an initiative of the European Union [EU] to reduce harmful vehicle emissions.) For other emissions (nitrous oxide, hydrocarbons and particulate matter) the project has specified that its targets be consistent with those of the EU4 Exhaust Emissions Targets.

The Automotive Applications Committee (AAC) is a subcommittee of the Market Development Committee of AISI and focuses on advancing the use of steel in the highly competitive automotive market. With offices and staff located in Detroit, cooperation between the automobile and steel industries has been significant to its success. This industry cooperation resulted in the formation of the Auto/Steel Partnership, a consortium of DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors and the member companies of the AAC.

This release and other steel-related information are available for viewing and downloading at American Iron and Steel Institute/Automotive Applications Committee’s website at http://www.autosteel.org.

American Iron and Steel Institute/
Automotive Applications Committee:
AK Steel Corporation
Bethlehem Steel Corporation
Dofasco Inc.
Ispat Inland Inc.
National Steel Corporation
Rouge Steel Company
Stelco Inc.
United States Steel Corporation
WCI Steel, Inc.
Weirton Steel Corporation