One of most essential factors to develop the highest gas mileage vehicle in the world is weight reduction of the vehicle body. Therefore, we replaced the traditional steel material for body in white (BIW) with aluminum. In order to apply aluminum to the BIW of a passenger car, the serious issues are cost as well as the technical challenges of the BIW performance characteristics. Finally we designed an aluminum hybrid body structure which has the advantages of both monocoque and space frame bodies. This resulted in the BIW weight a half of a traditional steel body, with the attainment of a high level of safety, performance and stiffness, as well as achieving cost savings.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(01)80213-3