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Christopher Bruce2013-03-25 14:09:59

Ariel Developing Titanium Chassis for Upgraded Atom

Could reduce chassis weight by 40%

 
 
Slideshow
Ariel says that it is developing the titanium tech to make lighter cars in the future

ArielArielArielUnited Kingdom, 2001 > present2 models
88 photos
2 videos
is working on a titanium chassis for an upgraded version of the AtomAtom Gen.3Ariel Atom Gen.3United Kingdom, 2008 > present9 versions
55 photos
2 videos
that could make the chassis 40% lighter than the current steel version. The car will likely be offered as a limited edition. 

Creating anything out of titanium, especially something as complicated as a car chassis, is extremely complicated. Titanium cannot be welded in an environment with oxygen or it will combust. That means that the pieces have to be welded in an argon-filled container, which given the size of the Atom is a massive undertaking. 

The development is being partially funded by the UK government's Technology Strategy Board’s Niche Vehicle Programme fund.

"We'd like to do a limited edition. It would be a brilliant track car. The alternative would be to offer it as an option on the range," said Ariel-owner Simon Saunders.

"Our magic figure would start with a four," he said about the car's weight. He wants the weight to be under 500kg (1100lbs). 

The experiments with titanium are essentially a proof of concept. The company wants to include more titanium components on future vehicles, although probably not a complete chassis.

Source: Autocar

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