Intelligent material mix for top performance: Mercedes-AMG GT R wins VDI lightweight design award
Stuttgart | Leipzig. The Mercedes-AMG GT R wins the first VDI/ Carbon Composites e.V. lightweight design award with its intelligent material mix. The sports car consistently uses new, innovative composite materials and processing technologies, and state-of-the-art development methods to further reduce the overall weight and optimise performance of the entire vehicle.
The performance-oriented mixture of materials made up of magnesium, aluminium and carbon fibre in the Mercedes-AMG GT R body (fuel consumption combined: 11.4 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 259 g/km) is an example of how the weight and vehicle function of the Mercedes-AMG GT's aluminium body structure can be significantly improved through the targeted development of key components such as the roof, wings and crash, stiffening and aerodynamic elements as well as the torque tube with a carbon-intensive design – following the strict principle of having the right material in the right place. Despite comprehensive additional equipment, it has been possible to reduce the overall weight of the Mercedes-AMG GT R by 12.5 kg compared with the base vehicle. At the same time the static and dynamic stiffness has been improved along with the aerodynamic downforce. In addition, great importance was attached to the use of the latest technologies to prepare the cost-efficient use of carbon fibre structures for larger volumes as well.
A special feature of the Mercedes-AMG GT R is the carbon-fibre propeller shaft tube housing. The "torque tube" provides for a very direct, bending resistant and torsionally stiff connection between the engine and transmission that is conducive to good driving dynamics and features a transaxle configuration. The structural component therefore provides for an extremely direct response and contributes to a balanced weight distribution in the vehicle. The monolithic carbon-fibre housing and the drive shaft that is also made of CFRP have the enormous torque of 700 Nm in the 585 hp Mercedes-AMG GT R well under control. Not only does the torque tube absorb the high forces and torques during driving, it also withstands the dynamic load changes and load peaks that come with a sporty driving style. Furthermore, in a worst case scenario the innovation demonstrates forgiving failure behaviour without breaking out or buckling. As the vibration characteristics of the drive shaft that is also made of carbon fibre composite material are perfectly matched to the torque tube, the highest NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) requirements are met.
The VDI/ Carbon Composites e.V. lightweight design congress is awarding the lightweight design award for the first time
Under the professional sponsorship of the VDI companies Materials Engineering (VDI-GME) and Vehicle and Traffic Engineering (VDI-FVT), the Association of German Engineers (VDI) and Carbon Composites e.V. are the joint organisers of the first lightweight design congress for the automotive industry from 13 to 14 June 2017. The lightweight design award is also being presented for the first time at the congress.