Besides our passion for analysing existing vehicles in our lightweight garage, we also get creative ourselves designing new lightweight concepts. Together with our partners, the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, Litewerks and the Koller Group, we have developed a modular modular lightweight starter battery to replace conventional heavy lead lead batteries. The starting point is the technology change to lithium iron phosphate, as the stable voltage plateau above the capacity enables efficient use.
Behind this garage door is a vehicle that probably everyone has seen before. It is the Mercedes-Benz SLK, a roadster introduced by Mercedes-Benz in 1996. The vehicle is related to the C-Class and is known for its foldable steel roof. However, there is also a hidden innovative solution which will be presented here. This is the rear wall, which has a special vaulted structure and has been ensuring less weight in the SLK since 2004.
Today we look at the BMW 750i xDrive from 2016. This car is powered by a 4,4 l V8 engine with a torque of 650 Nm, with an output of 445 hp and a top speed of up to 250 km/h. The gears change automatically through an 8-speed torque converter automatic, which allows for a particularly smooth start. This 7-series has a permissible total weight of 2630 kg. A special highlight, however, is its spur-geared output shaft.
As lightweight engineers our global goal is optimization and efficiency. In the end, it's not just about the kilograms saved. The optimization can also occur as a positive secondary effect, since innovative materials combine many positive material properties. An example of this are oxide-ceramic composite materials as used in the SHEFEX ("sharp edge flight experiment") project of the DLR in which a sharp-edged re-entry body was designed in three evolutionary phases. The first launch and re-entry of SHEFEX I was in 2005.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Maybach Type 22, door number 9 conceals the epitome of German luxury saloons - the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class with biturbo V12 engine. 612 hp and 900 Nm of torque accelerate the 2,350 kg and 5.469 m long vehicle to 100 km/h in 4.5 s.
This time, the legendary successor to the Audi V8, the first Audi A8, is behind our garage door. With an unladen weight of 1.46 to 1.75 t and engine output of up to 309 kW and 550 Nm for the W12 engine, the Audi A8 was the flagship of the product portfolio at the time.
The history of cars with bodies made of glass-fibre-reinforced plastic (GFRP) dates back to the 1950s. Paving the way for mass-produced cars with plastic bodies, the Corvette C1 appeared in 1953 and was the first stage in the Corvette success story.
The use of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) has been state of the art for aerospace applications for several years. In the automotive industry, there are vehicles in which CFRP is used, too. The comparatively expensive material was previously not found in rail vehicles. However, the increasing desire for energy efficiency is also leading to a rethinking in this industry. After all, every tonne of weight saved on the vehicle not only reduces the axle loads and wear and tear on the railways. It also leads to energy savings of 0.7-22kWh per 100km.
This garage door does not cover an automobile, rail vehicle or aircraft, but a set of skis. These skis have in common that they are specifically designed for use in deep snow (off-piste). These skis are called freeride and touring skis, which should float on the snow as well as possible and avoid sinking. In order to generate the best possible lift on the snow with the ski, a sandwich wood core that is as light as possible is used in addition to the wide shape.
Since the first America's Cup was sailed in 1851, the ships participating in it have been constantly developed and optimized. In 1937, the first ship with a mast made of duralumin was used. In 1983, a boat with a wing keel was crowned the winner for the first time.