Volkswagen took a prime floor space at KLIMS 2013, a vast portion of the hall previously occupied by Proton in the KLIMS 2010. It brings the whole lot of its car together with the yet-to-be launched CKD Volkswagen Polo hatchback. However, the item that really catch my eyes is the cut model of the Volkswagen Golf, a car that won accolades of awards, triple award I would say; European Car of The Year, World Car of The Year and Car of The Year Japan. Award does not fall from the sky, so this car ought to be quite something.
The cut model of Volkswagen Golf Mk7 is very fascinating to look at. It is the free demonstration of Volkswagen engineering design which is very useful to be benchmarked. After all, Volkswagen Golf Mk7 is significantly 100kg lighter than the model it replaced. The savings are achieved via 3.0kg lighter electrical system, 12.0kg of car's equipment, 22.0kg from engine, 26.0kg from the drivetrain and a whopping 37.0kg from the body structure. The culmination of the savings is the result of finite element analysis which optimize the load path and reduce the redundant structure. The main structure is a hybrid of high strength steel with hot formed steel among other conventional materials.
Lets start with the front. While I don't bring the gauge to check the thickness, I am pretty sure it is quite a standard thickness as far as the hood inner and outer panel is concern. However what can be seen is the hood inner panel is quite mainstream in the design and generously structured near the cowl section. In addition to the hood inner beaded section close by, the hood outer is further augmented by stiffener, so even the rearward right section alone is supported by 3 reinforcements.
The section below shows the front bumper assembly consists of bumper fascia, bumper beam and its foam insert as well as the lower radiator grille louvre design. Also consistent with the current trend, the bumper itself is very thin, around 2mm and usually can't support its own weight is disassembled. Bulk of the loading is taken by the beam, while the yield can be support by the fascia, the springback is aided by the foam.
Moving further downward, one can clearly see the floor is fully covered to aid aerodynamics. The fairing covers even the lowest point of the car which is the oil sump, which seems to be insulated this this example. The next photo shows the main body structure of Volkswagen Golf Mk7, which is the side structure, a structure that envelope the occupants inside the car. The A, B and C pillar are exposed here, although only the critical section of B-pillar is cut out for us to see.
Closer inspection through the web reveals the B-pillar inner panel is off the TWB type, i.e Tailor Weld Blank which means the panel comes as multi thickness along the length. This is particularly useful in saving weight as it isolates the need for an additional reinforcement of metal sheet to add strength, which also requires spot weld. For TWB, the sheet is rolled in the desired thickness at desired location, the concept which is as per illustrated. This technology is nothing new, as our local grown Proton Saga BLM employs the same technology in its door panel. More details after the jump.