Jaguar's new F-Type is a stunning example of JLR's commitment to aluminum vehicle architecture
It was almost 40 years ago, in 1974, that Jaguar ceased production of its Jaguar XK-E, or E-Type, following sales of over 70,000 autos over a 13-year span. Almost from the beginning, the XK-E was heralded for its design and performance. In 1996, New York's Museum of Modern Art added a blue XK-E roadster to its permanent design collection, one of only six automobiles to be so recognized. In 2004, Sports Car International magazine named the E number one on their list of Top Sports Cars of the '60s, and in 2008 the XK-E ranked first on The Daily Telegraph's list of the world's "most beautiful cars" of all time.
But the F-Type is more than an aesthetic success; it is also a stunning example of parent Jaguar Land Rover's commitment to aluminum vehicle architecture.
With its all-aluminum body, front sub-frame and suspension, the F-Type feels fast, lively and responsive. It's also proving environmentally friendly. Up to 50% of the metal used for the F-Type is recycled, and production energy has been reduced. With adhesive bonding and rivets replacing typical resistance spot welding, the assembly energy required is reduced by 70%.
The only way for Jaguar Land Rover to meet fuel-economy goals is to make them as light as small cars, says Mark White, who heads JLR's vehicle body programs. That means a move from steel to aluminum, and the F-Type is one of six all-aluminum models from the company since 2002.
Another "green" dimension to the newest JLR offerings is that the aluminum they are using has high recycled content. Currently, over 50 percent of the aluminum used is recycled, and plans are in place to increase recycled content to more than 75 percent by 2020.
For more on JLR's use of aluminum, go to:
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Photos courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover.