Nissan launch Lightweighting programme

Nissan has launched a prototype programme as part of its goal to significantly reduce the weight of passenger cars.

The Japanese car maker is engaged in a ‘Lightweighting Programme’ in collaboration with other auto manufacturers and research bodies.

The programme plans to produce a material structure for the floors of future cars, and is intending to be the first step in creating material applications that will be used for the vehicles of tomorrow. The company is looking to improve performance, fuel consumption and counteract the weight of technology being built into new cars with this project.

Working closely with the UK supply chain, Nissan will draw on the materials and techniques used in the motorsport, aerospace and astronautics industries to achieve its goal.

Nissan Technical Centre Europe’s vice president for vehicle design and development, David Moss, said, ‘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 revolutionise the industry.’

Nissan is also involved in an extensive mass reduction programme, which has yielded a 90kg weight loss for the X-trail and 40kg for the new Qashqai. Under this existing programme, Nissan engineers use lighter and stronger materials, while still allowing for the extensive addition of extra equipment.

The project is part of the LX consortium of auto manufacturers and research bodies led by Sigmatex. It is supported by Axillium Research, in partnership with Cranfield University, Engenuity, Expert Tooling & Automation, Granta Design, Group Rhodes, LMAT, Surface Generation and Tilsatec. The consortium seeks to enhance the capability within the UK automotive supply chain to manufacture composite components.

The LX programme is funded by the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, set up by the UK Government to help boost existing UK supply chains.