The world-leading British design and engineering company Gordon Murray Design has unveiled the latest version of its groundbreaking iStream automotive manufacturing system which revolutionises the way cars are manufactured. Combining a high-strength aluminium frame with advanced carbon fibre composite panels, iStream Superlight brings Formula One-derived construction and technologies to mainstream car production.
The new process promises to usher in a new era of vehicle performance with the lightweight structure offering greater safety, lower emissions, improved handling and enhanced durability. The new innovation not only delivers up to 50% weight reduction compared with a standard stamped-metal body, it also offers new levels of platform flexibility.
Due to the modular nature of the iStream Superlight chassis, the core platform can be adapted to suit every segment of vehicle from sports cars and ultra-efficient electric city cars to SUVs and light commercial vehicles. This adaptable formula ensures cost-effectiveness for manufacturers by avoiding the need for high capital investment and individual chassis designs for each model variant.
The iStream Superlight employs a simple high-strength aluminium thin-wall tubular frame and honeycomb recycled carbon-composite chassis panels in place of the stamped metal used in most volume car production. Its lightweight design delivers a body-in-white structure at up to 50% of the weight of stamped metal, while achieving new levels of rigidity, durability and platform flexibility.
Gordon Murray Design has also revealed its new seat innovation – the iStream lightweight seat, which uses the same innovative materials, techniques and technologies as the iStream chassis.
This newly developed seat incorporates glass or recycled carbon-fibre composite and a tubular frame to achieve dramatic weight savings. Compared to a typical vehicle seat, the iStream lightweight seat achieves a weight reduction of up to 30%. The iStream lightweight seat can be designed to suit all types of passenger vehicle.
While the design is aimed at weight saving in passenger cars, the new seat has the potential to benefit other passenger transportation sectors. From aerospace to rail, the patented seat design delivers new levels of lightweight and low tooling costs.