Innovation

Recycled aluminium used in ‘most efficient Jaguar ever’

Car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover has produced its ‘most efficient car ever’, after using recycled aluminium for up to 75 per cent of the body of the new Jaguar XE model.

The body has been developed following a £2-million development project part sponsored by Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) – which provided 69 per cent of the £2 million funding for the project – and six other organisations: aluminium recycling and rolling company Novelis; rheo processing technology testing company Zyomax Ltd; aluminium buyer Norton; part forming firm Stadco; aluminium consultancy Innoval Technology; and Brunel University.

The collaborative R&D competition was launched by Innovate UK in 2007 and led to the support of the project REALCAR (Recycled Aluminium Car).

According to Jaguar Land Rover, the rear-drive XE is ‘the only vehicle in its class to use an aluminium-intensive monocoque’.

The lightweight aluminium alloy, made from processed scrap, provides the car with a light structure that helps to reduce fuel consumption and emissions figures. Jaguar estimates that with the new Ingenium diesel engines, the XE can achieve 75 miles per gallon and 99 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, making it ‘the most efficient Jaguar ever’.

The new Jaguar XE is also said to be the ‘first car in the world’ to use the RC 5754 aluminium alloy, developed especially for the next generation of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. It is thought that the material could also soon be used by other producers in the transport sector.

“Real sustainable benefits”

Dr Mark White, Jaguar Chief Technical Specialist in Lightweight Vehicle Technologies, said: "The Jaguar XE body uses over 75 per cent aluminium content, which far exceeds any other car in its class. This gives us a body structure with unrivalled low weight: it's light but also immensely strong with extremely high levels of torsional stiffness and safety without compromising on vehicle design or refinement." 

Speaking of the REALCAR project, Adrian Tautscher from Jaguar Land Rover Materials Engineering, said: “Innovate UK has delivered two key outcomes, firstly, it has brought together a collaborative team from industry and academia to drive the development of the aluminium alloy that delivers real sustainable benefits.

“Secondly, this funding has been essential in offsetting the high development costs to allow Jaguar Land Rover to speed delivery of this innovative material.” 

John Morlidge, Innovate UK’s lead technologist for advanced materials, added: “The REALCAR project exemplifies Innovate UK’s top priorities of stimulation and supporting business-led innovation in bringing exciting new products to market.

“This project has made real inroads in demonstrating the economic and sustainability benefits that can be achieved from the use of lower cost recycled metal sources rather than primary metal production.”

Find out more about the Jaguar XE.