The new Infiniti QX50 premium SUV became the first production car, whose body parts are made of steel with ultrahigh tensile strength of 980 MPa. Nissan plans to use such material in its future models.
This is a high-strength steel with a high level of formability. Using it makes vehicles lighter, and their forms more aerodynamic. Such cars emit less harmful gases into the atmosphere and better protect occupants.
The material was developed by Nissan jointly with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, one of the world’s leading metalworking companies. Parts of complex shape are made of such steel, which are usually thinner and lighter than products made of ordinary steel.
The new steel is part of Nissan’s plan to reduce CO2 emissions in new cars by 40% by 2022 compared to 2000. The automaker wants it to make up 25% of the company’s vehicle parts by weight.. For example, in the new QX50 it it makes up 27% of the construction.
Another advantage of the new steel is that it can be subjected to cold pressing, which makes it suitable for economical mass production.
Nissan’s plan for a significant CO2 emissions reduction complies with the strategy of a phase-out of diesel engines from Nissan model lineup for the European market by early next decade. Compression-ignition engines produce less carbon dioxide, but they are believed to be more harmful than petrol ones, due to their levels of nitric oxide.
To reduce the overall concentration of carbon dioxide, Nissan will invest heavily in electric and hybrid vehicles. For example, the automaker is currently teaming up with Panasonic, Honda, Toyota and GS Yuasa for the initiative to market solid-state batteries.
Photo: 2019 Infiniti QX50