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Library-Jaguar F-Type

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.

 F-type body
Now the XK-E's spiritual successor (and Jag's first 2-seater since the E), Jaguar's new F-Type is again receiving accolades for design and performance. "We cast one unanimous ballot for the F-Type for top honors...We were simply taken with the style, the performance potential, and yes, the heritage." said Autoweek, while Architectural Digest called it "Light, athletic, and beautifully struck."

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.

 2014 Range Rover Sport
Another example is the new Range Rover Sport. The new Range Rover body is 441 pounds lighter than the prior steel version. The aluminum chassis is 220 pounds lighter and another 265 pounds has been saved because the lighter body and chassis permit downsizing of other systems. In total, a 17-percent weight reduction has been realized, yielding a 25-percent fuel efficiency improvement.

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:

Want to learn more about designing extrusions for automotive applications?

Photos courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover.