• Jun 28th 2009 at 8:26AM
  • 6
2010 Jaguar XJ - Click above to view the video after the jump

Jaguar has long been a proponent of aluminum construction for automobiles. In fact, the current-generation XJ uses an aluminum-intensive chassis that's held together by loads of epoxy and over 3,000 rivets, which allows the big Jag's underpinnings to achieve a 40 percent weight savings over a similar chassis fashioned from steel. According to the British automaker, the next XJ will feature a chassis that's just as high-tech and lightweight.

What's the big deal with aluminum and light weight? Not only does the car's performance (acceleration, handling and braking) improve as the weight goes down, so do its fuel efficiency and emissions scores. Further, Jaguar says its innovative structure takes less energy to create and is easily recyclable when the time finally comes to remove the vehicle from the road.

The new Leaping Cat will get its formal introduction on July 9. In the meantime, hit the jump to watch a video where a couple of Jaguar employees extol the glories of aluminum.

[Source: Jaguar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago

      Yes, carbon fiber from chicken feathers! Really.


      Sincerely, Neil
      • 4 Years Ago
      Using aluminum is good idea. But having some complication creates lots of problem. Steel is better as all the companies are using them. The aluminum should be used when we have to make a low budget cars. These cars will be affordable by the people who wants car for their need not for luxury.
      But if we have to make a Eco-friendly, then we can give him vote for using the aluminum. Thinking about the greenery of our environment we have to take care of it. And I think th Jaguar has taken a helpful step towards the environment.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not only that, but aluminum is cheap right now. This is really a no-brainer.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "According to the British automaker..."

      The last I heard, Ford, an American automaker, sold Jaguar to the TATA company in India. I know things are complicated these days, but no one would call Honda or Toyota American car makers because they have assembly plants in the US.

      As for the video message about lightness being good, there is no argument. It is why the Japanese use high strength steels. You can use less of it to do the same job. The implication that, aluminum, a material that is 1/3 as stiff as ordinary steel and 1/3 as heavy is going to provide much weight loss is questionable considering that increase of chassis stiffness for improved handling has been the major emphasis in the past decade and the implication that somehow aluminum has suddenly become green is just controversial, if not dishonest, unless accompanied by some substantiation.

      Compared to steel, aluminum is hugely energy intensive, to the point that if energy were not subsidized an aluminum patio set would be the cost of a Buick. Roughly 5 times the energy cost of steel.The new place for aluminum production is the United Arab Emirates which has an excess of natural gas that is not cheaply shipped around the world. So, they mine the ore in someplace like Russia, ship it to UAR to refine it, ship the ingots to India or the US. Wonderful.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Aluminum is energy intensive, but that energy is electricity, not coal, which is why most aluminum is smelted near major hydroelectric facilities to use the cheapest source of electricity. Iceland, with an abundance of geothermal and hydropower, plans to become a major aluminum producer for that reason.A small amount of CO2 is produced, as the carbon electrodes tend to burn a bit, there are efforts underway to develop alternative electrodes to avoid that problem.

        Most steel is made using a heat purified form of coal called "coke", thus it actually uses considerably more fossil fuel to make than aluminum. Some specialty steels are made in electric arc furnaces that use more electrical energy than aluminum smelting, as they must reach much higher temperatures.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why not make the leap to carbon fiber? Or is it just too expensive? Anybody know about this?
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