2011 Geneva Motor Show: Magna unveils MILA Aerolight Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 4, 2011

What Magna Steyr brought to the Geneva Auto Show is a lightweight and efficient model called MILA Aerolight (Magna Innovative Lightweight Vehicle). Magna Steyr expects that with this model, it is able to prove that it knows what a model of the future should be. The weight of this model has been cut to just 700 kg, because of a multi-material system used for its construction. This cuts the emission and consumption figures.

In addition, Magna Steyr has also built the model to be capable of running on natural gas. Its body is comprised of a structural frame adapted to stress and a polymer shell. The honeycomb structures and composite materials were also instrumental in reducing the weight of the MILA.

The two-cylinder CNG engine gets the fuel from a 55-liter high pressure tank, which weighs only 8 kg. However, the tank can enable the model to run for about 400 km. Because of all these, Aerolight ranks at the lowest level of CO2 emissions in its class, 55g/km.

The new MILA Aerolight is shaped under a design philosophy that dictates that purism and sustainability as well as esthetics and technology should complement each other to arouse emotions. As developed and designed, the MILA Aerolight features a tangible lightweight construction and black passenger compartment that convey a sense of security.

Its body is wrapped in a hovering shell, evoking a sense of lightness while emphasizing ideal aerodynamic attributes. Since the new MILA Aerolight dramatically combines a tangible lightweight construction and observable security, it represents a design novelty in the small car segments – something that should appeal to both design and technology enthusiasts.

On the other hand, the new MILA Aerolight has been made more sophisticated thanks to its adherence to a certain technology philosophy. The new MILA Aerolight employs a multi-material system that only uses the right material in the right place and allows for new structure features and function to evolve.

In fact, the body of the new MILA Aerolight consists of a polymer shell and of a structural frame that is optimally adapted to stress. Magna Steyr was able to dramatically reduce the concept’s weight by employing honeycomb structures and using composite materials.

These solutions allowed the new MILA Aerolight to comply with all safety requirements, especially concerning pedestrian safety. They also seek to enhance insulation and acoustic properties. Magna Styer also implemented module solutions with integrated functions like a structurally embedded back seat, an axle with stabilizers, and a digital viewing system.

Press Release

MILA Aerolight: An emotional study in lightweight construction

MAGNA STEYR, an operating unit of Magna International Inc., is presenting its fifth concept vehicle from the MILA (Magna Innovative Lightweight Vehicle) innovation family at the Geneva Motor Show 2011.

MILA Aerolight is a compact, four-seat, natural gas vehicle in the A segment that weighs 700kg and has maximum CO2 emissions of 55g/km. Aerolight stands for tangible lightweight construction. This concept vehicle is distinguished by its highly dynamic styling and use of materials from the aviation industry.

The main characteristics of the MILA Aerolight are:

• Consistent weight reduction through intelligent combination of lightweight materials and unique design strategies
• More efficient CO2 emissions-lower natural gas drive system (CNG)
• Developed from ground up, combining exciting design with innovative lightweight construction, safety and sportiness for maximum driving experience

The Design Philosophy
MILA Aerolight defines purism and sustainability as new virtues. Esthetics and technology complement each other in an unambiguous design idiom arousing the observers’ emotions. Characteristic features make the lightweight construction tangible through the design. The black passenger compartment evokes a strong sense of security. The hovering shell seals the shape and represents lightness and ideal aerodynamic qualities.

The combination of tangible lightweight construction and perceptible security injects a sense of freshness into the small car segments. This configuration will appeal to design and technology enthusiasts through its dynamic appearance.

The Technology Philosophy
A multi-material system forms the basis of the MILA Aerolight concept vehicle. This system is distinguished by the use of the right material in the right place. Thus, new features of structure and function evolve. The body consists of a structural frame optimally adapted to stress and of a polymer shell. Considerable reductions in weight are achieved due to the honeycomb structures and innovative composite materials. In this way, all safety requirements – especially with regard to protection of pedestrians – are fulfilled, while simultaneously improving insulation and acoustic properties. Furthermore, there are module solutions with integrated functions. Among these, for example, are an axle with stabilizers, a structurally embedded back seat and a digital viewing system.

The drive system is in the form of a two-cylinder CNG engine. The natural gas is stored in a 55-liter high pressure tank. This corresponds to a gas weight of 8 kg. The tank is integrated in the shape of a cylinder in the center tunnel of the vehicle, taking into account optimum use of space. With respect to vehicle safety, this position of the pressure tank offers considerable advantages on retrofitted systems. Moreover, compared to traditional multipart tank systems, clear cost savings result from the use of a single pressure tank. The tank capacity aims at a range of some 400 km and is therefore fully suited to everyday use.

The combination of innovative lightweight materials with an efficient and reduced CNG drive system enables extremely low CO2 emissions with a maximum of 55g/km. This is currently the minimum value in the small car segment, and it can be further diminished by enriching with bio-gas.

From Concept to Reality
With the well-proven flex plant concept, MAGNA STEYR is well positioned to carry out multi-material construction techniques along with conventional body construction in steel and aluminum.

Utilizing lightweight multi-material construction techniques allows parts to be produced from more cost-intensive materials at reduced investment costs resulting in potential costs savings at medium volumes.

Topics: magna, concept

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