Search This Site

Friday, February 12, 2010

Inside Chrysler's new platform: the C-Evo Chassis...

Alfa Romeo has released more information on the platform (chassis) of the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta. This chassis, called C-Evo, is one of the technological assets Fiat is giving to Chrysler and will be the bases of the next generation of compact and mid-size vehicles offered by Chrysler.

You can catch up on this by reading my December 11, 2009 post here.

Dodge 2010-2014 product plans (click to enlarge)

The C-Evo chassis is versatile, and, because it is built using sub frame technology, can accommodate different wheelbases. This allows it to be used, for example, for the compact 2012 Dodge Caliber and also the mid-sized 2013 Dodge Avenger/ Chrysler Sebring (where the longer wheelbase chassis will be called D-Evo).

The C-Evo chassis is quit impressive and is aimed at being best in class. It will be a huge step forward from what Chrysler and its competitors are offering in the compact and mid-sized segments. In addition, besides front wheel drive, the chassis offers all wheel drive capabilities, opening up a new market for Chrysler in the compact and mid-size market segments.

Alfa Romeo calls its all wheel drive system Q4, here's a video on how it works.

Below is a description of the C-Evo chassis, courtesy of Alfa Romeo. After reading this, can you imagine that chassis combined with the Chrysler 200c concept car body? While you're at it, throw in a twin turbo, Pentastar V6 and the Q4 system...I'd call that a winning combination!

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta introduces the brand new “Compact” architecture

The C-Evo Chassis

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta introduces an entirely new architecture - "Compact" - designed to satisfy the most demanding customers in terms of road-holding, agility and safety. It ensures both exceptional dynamic performance and high comfort levels, thanks to the refined technical solutions employed for the suspension; a new-generation steering system; a light and rigid structure created from materials such as aluminum and high-strength steels, with avant-garde manufacturing techniques. Furthermore, driving satisfaction and comfort can be adapted to the meet every customer's specific needs thanks to the Alfa DNA selector, a device that customizes the vehicle's behavior to suit different road conditions and driving styles.

So, the new Alfa Romeo is a completely new car which, drawing on the spirit of its famous predecessor, is without a doubt a sports car capable of expressing both great agility over the most demanding routes and providing comfort on everyday roads. Plus, thanks to a specific suspension calibration offered by the Sport Pack, the sportiness of the new Giulietta can be further enhanced.

The new "Compact" architecture continues Fiat Group Automobiles' architecture rationalization strategy - preceded by the "Mini" architecture for segment A and the "Small" for segments B and L0 - and is a true "point of departure" from previous architectures due to the new content introduced, the materials used and the levels of performance achieved. Also, from the earliest design stages, the aim was to create a new architecture that would allow future Fiat Group Automobiles segment C vehicles, starting with the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta, to be ranked “best in class” in terms of handling, steering feel, performance to weight ratio, ride comfort, NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness), safety (active and passive) and climatic comfort.

First of all, the underbody represents a generational leap in terms of the materials used. The entire structure is now significantly stronger and provides better performance without any increase in weight with respect to the previous generation. All this is thanks to the ever wider use of high and ultra-high strength materials, which now make up more than 90% of the total mass of the system: some structural parts, designed to provide high strength and the ability to absorb impact with minimal deformation, have been made from hot-pressed tempered steel.

Moreover, lightweight materials have been used for several structural elements bolted to the body structure. For instance, the front beam connecting the front struts and the third load path are made from extruded aluminum. The rear bumper beam and the third load path energy absorption elements are made from Xenoy (a thermoplastic with excellent energy absorption properties in relation to weight). The third load path energy absorption elements absorb the energy of low-speed impacts with obstacles and support the bumper in impacts with pedestrians. Employing these solutions has provided a weight reduction of 18.7 lbs. (8.5 kg) at the front and 8.8 lbs (4 kg) at the rear with respect to conventional steel structures, without compromising safety performance.

Another new feature of the underbody is its modularity, which makes it ideal for use on a family of vehicles with different wheelbases. This modularity is provided by several central floor panels and the side members and does not affect any part of the front and rear structures. This reduces outlay to a minimum and means that the system can be applied to other vehicle systems without modification.

Many of the systems and components that make up the "Compact" architecture have been thoroughly revised with respect to the previous generation, improving performance and reducing weight (-35% for both the framework of the rear seats as well as the magnesium alloy cross car beam).

Giulietta offers exceptional handling performance and comfort levels thanks above all to the new suspension system employed. The Mc Pherson front suspension in particular was revised to offer maximum rigidity under side loads, reducing the weight thanks to the use of aluminum(saving 8.8 lbs (4 kg) with respect to cast-iron solutions).

The rear suspension is, on the other hand, brand new: the layout is a sophisticated, cutting-edge Multi link that does not compromise the useful volume of the luggage compartment and, thanks to the aluminum wishbones, allows for a weight reduction of over 22 lbs (10 kg) with respect to conventional Multi link systems.

In addition, the new electric power steering system ensures an excellent steering feel and is integrated with the vehicle's active safety systems. The climate control system was also specifically designed to provide the best climatic conditions in the passenger compartment, while significantly reducing over-consumption of fuel (30% less than a conventional system). Similarly, thanks to specific technical features, exceptional noise and vibrational quality values have been achieved.

In terms of passive safety, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta was produced to obtain the maximum Euro NCAP rating, as demonstrated by over fifteen thousand hours of mathematical modeling, 80 crash tests, 150 tests on a HyGe slide and more than 100 tests on components and sub-systems. In detail, the new third load path increases the energy absorption potential of the vehicle front end and reduces both inertial forces and passenger compartment intrusion, thereby ensuring optimum passenger protection at higher impact severity. Safety is guaranteed by 6 airbags (as standard on the entire range); three-point seat belts with double pretensioners and load limiters; the collapsible pedal unit and steering column; the second-generation anti-whiplash system and the Isofix mountings.

Alfa Romeo Q2 Electronic Differential demonstrated.

Lastly, in terms of active safety, the new architecture of the Alfa Giulietta was designed to integrate the vehicle's different systems and exploit them to the full, thus emphasizing the three set-up functions (Dynamic, Normal and All Weather) available through the Alfa DNA selector. This device, fitted as standard on the entire range, is designed to modify the operating parameters of the engine, gearbox, steering system and Q2 electronic differential, in addition to the behavior logic of the Vehicle Dynamic Control system (VDC). Giulietta will also be introducing Pre-Fill - a new function - activated when the DNA is set to Dynamic, which uses the VDC system to provide the driver with the quickest braking response possible. These sophisticated features which improve the dynamic control of the vehicle are supported further by the Dynamic Steering Torque (DST), a function which provides the driver with a feed-back torque at the steering wheel that helps him to perform critical maneuvers correctly, before the VDC intervenes to prevent loss of control.

Turin, 8 February 2010

Chrysler 200C

With thanks to Alfa Romeo, Fiat Group Press and Chrysler Media


Daniël Mantione said...

It has been quite quiet about the introduction of Alfa Romeo themselves to the U.S. But there appears to be news, according to Auto Edizione:

...the latest news is that Alfa Romeo come to the U.S. within two years, so probably early 2012. Besides the C-Evoluzione chassis, maybe you will also see the Guilletta in its original form.

It's a car that makes me salivate... said...

Daniël, thanks for the comment.

We really need Alfa Romeo back in this country! I've owned an Alfa GtV-6 for 25+ years and still love it. I can watch (and listen to) Alfa videos on YouTube all day long, for the money, there's nothing more exciting, period.

How the South Koreans can sell all their cars here and I can't buy a single Alfa Romeo, let alone a Fiat Punto Abarth, really gets me...

I am working on a story about Alfa Romeo, and it wasn't looking too good for one of my favorite car companies, but the latest news is looking more promising. Personally, I think Marchionne inadvertently gave a little too much info about Alfa and there was a negative media storm.

I think now they are "leaking" more promising info out there. I say it's about time!

C'mon Alfa! The MiTo, Brera, 159 and the new Giulietta are sexy as hell, why can't we sell them?!!

Alfa romeo parts said...

Ford reports that 51% of the pre-orders are from previous non-Ford customers, which is a pretty big deal for Ford. Surprisingly (and fortunately,) 65% of buyers are choosing the five-door hatchback model over the four-door sedan. This is great news, and shows that we in the States are finally starting to accept hatchbacks (plus the Fiesta hatch looks much better.) Another excellent statistic: among the top three color choices are Blue Flame and Lime Squeeze – two bright and vibrant colors! said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

That is good new for us and hopefully will open the door for more interesting cars from Europe to arrive.

Next we have to get rid of the "bigger is better" syndrome, SUV's, no replacement for displacement, etc, etc!