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Future Nissan Models Will Be Much Lighter Thanks To New High-Tech Steel

The Infiniti QX50 was the first production model to use the new material.

You may not realize it, but the Infiniti QX50 represented a production-model first. Launched in the US back in March, the premium midsize SUV was the first production vehicle to feature front and rear side members made from Super High Formability steel, along with other body frame parts. Now, Nissan has announced it will be building more future models using the material, which will bring many advantages. Chiefly, the new steel has a high level of formidability and high tensile strength.

Nissan says it plans to expand the use of the material to more vehicles, but didn’t specify any models. The models that use the material will be a lot lighter and have more aerodynamic shapes, which will lower emissions and offer better protection for occupants. The material was jointly developed by Nissan and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, one of the world's leading metalworking companies. The steel’s combination of stamping formability and strength makes it possible to form parts with complex shapes that are generally thinner and lighter than equivalent parts made of conventional steel.

This new high-strength steel is part of Nissan’s plan to reduce the CO2 emissions of its new vehicles by 40 percent by 2022 compared to the year 2000. The automaker aims for the steel to make up to 25 percent of the company’s vehicle parts by weight. In the new QX50, for example, it makes up 27 percent of the construction. The new steel can also be cold-pressed, making it suitable for mass production while also being cost-effective and has a tensile strength of 980 megapascals, which is much stronger than other similar materials.

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