10 GM Vehicles Lose an Average of 350 Pounds

10 GM Vehicles Lose an Average of 350 Pounds

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Ten recently launched @GM vehicles lose an average of 350 pounds for a lighter and more efficient lineup http://bit.ly/2kMFGSi
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 2:15pm

CAMPAIGN: GM Greener Vehicles


General Motors engineers are diligently working to make vehicles lighter, focusing on customer needs and increasing vehicle performance. Ten recently launched Buick, GMC, Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicles have lost an average of 350 pounds as a result, and these efforts help GM reduce its environmental footprint. The annual carbon emissions avoided from this weight loss is about equal to saving 28 million gallons of fuel.

“We start with an understanding of the most important attributes to the customer, be it performance, EV range, interior space, towing capacity or fuel economy,” said Charlie Klein, GM executive director, global CO2 strategy, energy, mass and aerodynamics. “Then, we work to find the right mix of materials to deliver on that promise and exceed their expectations.”

That mix of materials is incorporated without compromising safety or quality. GM’s Efficient Fundamentals strategy includes advancing powertrain technologies, optimizing components and vehicle systems,  improving aerodynamics and lightweighting – reducing vehicle mass to achieve better performance overall.

For example, the 2017 Chevrolet Volt is 250 pounds lighter than the first generation model, which contributed to its 30 percent increase in range. The Chevrolet Cruze also lost 250, giving customers even better fuel economy and increased interior space. Improvements in size, content, structure and chassis delivered a loss of 700 pounds in the GMC Acadia. And the Buick LaCrosse, which is longer and wider than its predecessor, is now 300 pounds lighter thanks to advanced materials such as press-hardened, high-strength steels that also provide customers with efficiency and more responsive handling.

When it comes to lightweighting, there is no single solution. GM may use composites for sports cars like the Chevrolet Corvette where power-to-weight ratio is paramount. Corrosion-resistant aluminum is used for a blend of strength and low mass on chassis components. Ultra high-strength steel allows for some parts to be made of thinner gauges without sacrificing strength. GM also uses a mix of new manufacturing joining techniques, such as the world’s first aluminum-to-steel resistance spot welding.

The team at GM will continually drive improvement and work to keep its vehicles fit.  After all, as automotive engineers know, every gram matters.