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2016 Cadillac CT6 Chassis Uses Mix of Aluminum, Steel, Other Materials

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/13/2015 Jason Udy

While earlier rumors suggested that the new 2016 Cadillac CT6 would feature an aluminum chassis, the automaker has announced the architecture will also be comprised of 13 different materials in various sections of the structure.

“This is the rocket science of automobile construction and manufacturing today,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen in a release. “With the CT6, we used high-strength aluminum and high-strength steels; lightweight chassis components; we integrate aluminum and steel where it makes sense; we eliminate every gram of mass possible, while achieving world-class performance.”

Aluminum is said to be used in 64 percent of the new CT6 sedan’s body structure including all exterior panels. The lower structure features 13 complex high-pressure die cast pieces as well as aluminum sheets and extrusions. Steel close-out panels are used on the vehicle underbody and are said to reduce noise with less sound deadening material. Cadillac says the mix of materials saves 198 pounds versus a comparable steel structure.

Cadillac CT6 Aluminum Structure Diagram© Provided by MotorTrend Cadillac CT6 Aluminum Structure Diagram

Additionally, high-strength steel is used in construction with high-strength aluminum to reinforce the body structure. This technique is said to form a safety cage around the passenger compartment. High-strength steel is also used in the B-pillar for strength as well as better ergonomics and visibility. The material has the added benefit of reducing outside noise. High-strength aluminum and steel are used for front and side impact zones, while a high-strength aluminum bar is used at the rear of the structure.

2016 Cadillac CT6 Chassis Uses Mix of Aluminum, Steel, Other Materials

“The structure of the CT6 is one of the most-advanced body systems we’ve ever produced,” said Travis Hester, Cadillac CT6 executive chief engineer. “The innovation surrounding our joining techniques have [sic] enabled us to create a vehicle structure with the highest torsional rigidity of any Cadillac while achieving one of the most mass-efficient vehicles in the segment.”

Earlier this year, the automaker said the 2016 Cadillac CT6 sedan’s chassis would be assembled by robots and lasers to handle the advanced manufacturing process required to construct a chassis from different materials. The automaker claims there are 21 patents pending for these new processes. Other manufacturing techniques include aluminum spot welds, steel spot welds, flow drill screws, self-piercing rivets, laser welding, aluminum arc welding, and structural adhesive.

More details on the 2016 Cadillac CT6 will be revealed during its debut at the 2015 New York auto show. Production of the new flagship will begin late this year at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

Source: GM

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