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Aug 08.17 Magnesium and the Minivan: All new! Award-winning!
The re-thought and re-designed 2017 Chrysler Pacifica has
earned the Altair Enlighten Award for Achievements in Weight Reduction, thanks in large part to its innovative aluminum/magnesium liftgate that saves 18.5 of the 250-pound total reduction that the new model shed versus the model it replaced.

The vehicle’s liftgate is comprised of an aluminum outer panel bonded to a cast-magnesium inner panel--one of the largest cast-magnesium automotive components in high-volume production.

Engineers used a metals mix of magnesium, high-strength steels, and aluminum for the Pacifica’s body structure that is 168 pounds lighter than that of the minivan model it replaced in FCA U.S. showrooms. The total vehicle weight differential is nearly 250 pounds.

"The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is a testament to our team's engineering capability," said Phil Jansen, Head of Product Development, FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) North America. "It's not only lighter than the vehicle it replaced; it's longer, wider and more efficient. The Pacifica has also earned superior safety ratings and widespread media acclaim. We are proud to add the Altair Enlighten Award to its list of team achievements."

The award, presented recently at CAR's Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan (U.S.), is the auto industry's only honor to mark engineering achievements in weight savings.

Vehicle weight reduction is a key contributor to improved fuel economy. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (named “the best minivan” by the NY Daily News) earns a best-in-class rating of 28 mpg (highway) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and a combined city/highway rating of 22 mpg, unsurpassed in the minivan segment.

Privately held Altair (Troy, Michigan) is focused on the development and application of simulation technology to synthesize and optimize designs, processes and decisions for improved business performance.

The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) is a non-profit organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It conducts research on significant issues related to the future direction of the global automotive industry, and organizes and conducts forums of value to the automotive community.



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