- Published in News.
Fiat is developing magnesium and composite materials for use in future vehicles to reduce weight and improve efficiency, the OEM is also looking to increase its use of aluminium.
Fiat has previously focused on developing ultra high strength steel to reduce vehicle weight as it was deemed more cost-effective. The B-segment Fiat 500's body-in-white structure is made up of 57% high-strength and ultra high-strength steel.
But as emissions legislation tightens the need to reduce vehicle weight further means Fiat must now look at introducing lighter materials.
Fiat's metallic materials manager, Stefano Maggi said: “Future international requirements will be more demanding, and will force OEMs to introduce new materials, design concepts and approaches. Fiat's strategy is to develop new steel solutions, increase aluminium parts and investigate new technologies that could allow the usage of lighter materials such as magnesium and composites.”
Aluminium will be used in a wider variety of applications. Fiat currently uses the material in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, but it accounts for only 3% of the vehicle's structure; the front beam is constructed from aluminium reducing weight by 3.1kg compared to steel.
But applications for different materials will be based on their cost-effectiveness compared to traditional technologies, Maggi said: “In future models, in order to evaluate cost and benefits, aluminium solutions will always be compared with steel.”