New lighter vehicle construction aims to go mainstream

Jon Lawson

Gordon Murray Design has unveiled the latest version of its new iStream automotive manufacturing system. 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 could 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.

Professor Murray said: “The new iStream Superlight approach to vehicle manufacturing is a paradigm-shifting innovation for the global automotive industry. It is a breakthrough that will deliver the lightest chassis technology for decades to come. The team has created a unique, adaptable and cost-effective way for manufacturers around the world to dramatically improve vehicle performance and efficiency.”

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. 

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