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BMW's next 7-Series will make heavy use of aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic

Ford isn’t the only manufacturer looking to expensive, lightweight materials to save weight on its vehicles. BMW’s flagship 7-Series sedan has put on a few pounds over the past decade and a half, and the German luxury automaker is looking to completely erase that weight gain.
 
According to a new report by AutoCar, the next generation 7-Series will make extension use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CRFP), aluminum, and magnesium to achieve its targeted curb weight goals. BMW makes heavy use of these materials in the i3 and i8 electric vehicles, so it was only a matter of time before their use started to spread to more mainstream luxury models.
 
And given the 7-Series’ position as the flagship of BMW’s luxury sedan lineup, the company has more leeway to adjust its pricing accordingly.


2014 BMW 750Li
 
Aluminum will be heavily used in the suspension components, high-strength steel will be used in the body structure, aluminum will likely be used in the doors, and CRFP will be used for the hood, roof, and “load-bearing areas in the floorpan and body” according to AutoCar.
 
“It will set a new standard in its class in terms of weight saving,” said BMW AG CEO Norbert Reithofer.
 
The weight saving measures will allow the next generation 7-Series to shed roughly 440 pounds compared to the current generation model. AutoCar also notes that an “extra-long-wheelbase” model will join the existing standard- and long-wheelbase models.
 
Late last month, Ford rolled out a 2014 F-150 Lariat Crewcab 4x4 and its 2015 counterpart to show the dramatic weight difference between the two vehicles. The 2015 model with its aluminum body tipped the scales at 4,972 pounds while the steel-bodied 2014 model weighed in at a hefty 5,647 pounds; a 732-pound difference.

Source: AutoCar





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