In an effort to lighten many of its next generation cars, BMW will be investing in a new press hardening technology that will ultimately result in lighter cars. BMW will be the first to this technology as a result of the 50 million euro investment.
According to recent Automotive News article, the new process decreases vehicle weight by around 50 pounds. Here ‘s a further excerpt from article:
>The 5 Series Gran Turismo will be the first model using these components. Over the next three years, eight more new BMW models will incorporate components from the facility. The Dingolfing press facility will supply BMW ‘s factory network worldwide.
>In the new press process, galvanized sheet steel is pressed cold before being heated to 1,670 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, still glowing red, it is placed in the new press equipment, which cools it down to 158 degrees Fahrenheit, hardening it in the process.
>Despite lower weight, its strength is three to four times as great as untreated sheet steel. The use of galvanized sheet steel also guarantees a high level of rust protection. The process was developed with the steel technology company Voestalpine Polynorm.
Look for this tech to show up in the next 1, 5 and 6 series in the next couple of years with the rest of the updated range to follow.