Getting the Weight Out
The challenge of making cars lighter for the sake of efficiency is more important than ever as vehicle makers ponder hybrid, battery and fuel cell powertrains—all of which weigh more than traditional piston engines.
Altair Engineering Inc. offers advanced software modeling to help developers consider not just the vehicle structure but the human experience in using the resulting design, says Richard Yen, senior vice president Automotive.
This year’s winners of Altair’s annual Enlighten awards, which honor weight-saving efforts, went to the Chrysler Pacifica minivan—which lowered weight 250 lbs—and Honda’s high-tech NSX sports car.
You might be surprised to learn that there is presently a Ford Transit 350HD that is chock full of lithium-ion batteries that you can get right now that doesn’t come out of Dearborn but Loveland, Colorado.
The changing landscape requires not only new approaches to powertrains—but even new types of vehicles. Here’s how one supplier is addressing these changes.
The good news about downsized powertrains is that they can provide greatly improved fuel efficiency compared to larger engines. The not-so-good news for many drivers of cars with these smaller engines under the hood is that they can lack performance.