The all-new Range Rover Evoque is in the spotlight at SABIC’s Chinaplas 2011 booth (#10.2E21), underscoring the benefits of lightweight and environmentally responsible materials from the Innovative Plastics strategic business unit of SABIC. The luxurious new cross-coupe, with its compact footprint and advanced technologies, is described by Land Rover as a “step change in delivering reduced CO2 emissions.” Use of Innovative Plastics’ materials, combined with efficient design and attention to detail, contributed to a 35% overall weight reduction in the Evoque compared to Land Rover’s 2010 Range Rover Sport model. Innovative Plastics’ work with Land Rover and its tier suppliers demonstrates the benefits of using lightweight, high-performance thermoplastic materials to meet global regulatory requirements and consumer expectations for reduced environmental impact.
“We are delighted to showcase the new Range Rover Evoque cross-coupe with our advanced lightweight materials at Chinaplas,” says V. Umamaheswaran, director of automotive products and marketing, Innovative Plastics. “The Evoque is a world-class vehicle with a unique blend of style, performance and sustainability. Our team at Innovative Plastics is proud to have played a part in providing Land Rover and its tier suppliers with lightweight and environmentally progressive plastic solutions that have helped to set new standards for fuel economy and CO2 emissions in the premium compact SUV segment.”
According to Land Rover’s estimates, the Range Rover Evoque is capable of an exceptional sub- 130g/km carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions level. The automaker applied a range of advanced lightweight materials to make the Evoque the lightest Range Rover ever at just under 1,600kg. Land Rover used several resins from Innovative Plastics for various applications to support improved fuel consumption and lower emissions, such as Noryl GTX resin for the front fenders, Xenoy iQ resin for the pedestrian energy absorber and STAMAX long glass fiber polypropylene (LGFPP) for the instrument panel and inner door modules.
Land Rover’s work with Innovative Plastics goes back to the design of the acclaimed LRX model, the concept vehicle upon which the Range Rover Evoque is based. Consistent with the LRX vehicle, Innovative Plastics gave Land Rover a wide selection of high-quality, innovative material options to choose from to help the automaker meet its goal of delivering one of the most efficient and environmentally responsible vehicles in its class, while also bringing the levels of luxury and performance customers expect from a new Range Rover.
Sustainability Solutions for a Global Market
Advanced material solutions that address top sustainability challenges and trends across the world are needed to develop a vehicle like the Evoque, which will be sold in more than 160 markets globally. Innovative Plastics’ materials met this standard and, in addition to sustainability benefits and improved performance, contributed to design freedom, part consolidation and system cost reduction. The following are major application areas using Innovative Plastics’ advanced materials:
- Front fenders: Plastic Omnium chose lightweight Noryl GTX resin for the front fenders, reducing weight by 2.9kg versus metal for better fuel economy and, in turn, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 30kg over the vehicle’s life. Noryl GTX resin delivers high impact resistance and high temperature resistance up to 200C. The resin also optimizes design freedom, reduces costs and improves quality. Parts molded from Noryl GTX resin can be online painted along with the metal Body-In-White (BIW), avoiding the need for secondary operations and ensuring a perfect color match. This conductive resin does not require a primer step prior to painting.
- Fuel filler door: ITW (Illinois Tool Works) chose Noryl GTX resin for the fuel filler door. As with the fenders, the part can be painted online along with the rest of the BIW. This streamlined approach avoids quality issues and improves aesthetics.
- Pedestrian energy absorber: Magna International selected Xenoy iQ resin for this critical component. This environmentally progressive material contains a significant percentage of upcycled post-consumer waste such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles, helping to divert them from landfills. Xenoy iQ resin reduces weight to help improve fuel economy and cut emissions, while also providing efficient energy-absorption countermeasures to meet pedestrian protection and low-speed vehicle damageability requirements.
- Instrument panel and inner door modules: STAMAX LGFPP enabled International Automotive Components’ designers to create strong, lightweight parts offering higher stiffness and lower density than alternate materials. STAMAX LGFPP is used in the instrument panels and in the inner door modules. In addition to weight-out benefits, these materials demonstrate excellent mold flow, which means less material is needed to deliver equivalent stiffness and strength.
- Mirror system with molded-in color: Samvardhana Motherson Reflectec chose Geloy resin for this application because it provides high flexural modulus and low vibration for image stability, good wear characteristics, high heat resistance and impact strength. Geloy resins are highly weatherable, offering exceptional durability in some of the harsh outdoor environments that the Evoque is made for. Molded-in black color provides a dramatic design statement without the need for secondary painting.
- Rear spoiler: This part improves aerodynamic performance and lends style to the Evoque’s silhouette. Magna International chose lightweight Xenoy resin and Valox resin for this application because of the materials’ great impact resistance and outstanding aesthetic characteristics.