Putting Material in Its Place
Shedding weight to make cars more efficient is complicated by the economic advantages of using as many of the same components as possible in multiple models, says Altair Engineering’s Richard Yen.
Shedding weight to make cars more efficient is complicated by the economic advantages of using as many of the same components as possible in multiple models.
Richard Yen, Altair Engineering’s senior vice president of global automotive business, says carmakers use the 34-year-old company’s high-performance computer modeling software to more accurately make structural decisions about the amount and placement of materials. The process, he adds, is occurring earlier and earlier in the design and engineering process.
This year’s winners of Altair Engineering’s Enlighten awards are the Jeep Wrangler SUV and Ferrari Portofino sports car, which are 179 lbs and 203 lbs lighter, respectively, that prior models.
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The Lexus ES sedan is more than just an offering within the company’s lineup.
Although the RAV4 has plenty of heritage in the small crossover segment, competition has gotten a whole lot tougher, so Toyota has made significant changes to the fourth-generation model.
Chinese electric-car startup Nio Inc. is forming a manufacturing joint venture with Beijing E-Town International Investment and Development Co., which is investing 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in the business.