The Opel/Vauxhall Astra from General Motors has been named 2016 European Car of the Year at the 86th Geneva Motor Show. The Astra was the jury’s favourite by a narrow margin over the Volvo XC90. Both vehicles make extensive use of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) from ArcelorMittal.
Advanced and ultra high strength steels ensure a lightweight vehicle at an affordable price - picture credits GM.
ArcelorMittal would like to congratulate both General Motors and Volvo on their achievements in this prestigious competition. We look forward to keep working with them (and all carmakers) on their future lightweight mobility solutions.
The Astra was recognised for its all-new lightweight architecture which is around 200 kilograms lighter than the previous model. Extensive use of AHSS in the body-in-white (BIW) and structure has cut the weight of the vehicle by 20% (77 kg) alone. Another 50 kg was saved by utilising high and ultra high strength lightweight steels in the chassis.
AHSS key to save weight while increasing comfort and safety
Inside, the Astra’s seats make use of ultra high strength steels and lightweight polyurethane foams, reducing the combined weight of the front and rear seats by another 10 kg. The result is a vehicle which is significantly lighter and more compact than its predecessor, but with the space, comfort, and safety consumers demand. ArcelorMittal is supplying both hot stamping and cold stamping steels for this car.
Runner-up with record level of hot stamped steel
Volvo’s XC90 was the runner-up to the Astra in the competition. The all-new XC90 has been made stronger through extensive use of hot-formed boron steel, the strongest type of steel currently used in car bodies. Around 40% of the total body weight is made from this hot stamped steel. The increased safety this brings saw the Volvo XC90 also receive the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest award: TOP SAFETY PICK+.
The Opel/Vauxhall Astra, branded by the Jury as good value for money, is the Car of the Year 2016, as announced in Geneva Palexpo. The Opel brand name is awarded a CotY prize for the fifth time. The Astra received 309 points and 24 top marks from the jurors. There was a tight race with Volvo XC90, 294 points and 11 individual wins. "The new car may be up to 200 kg lighter depending on versions, an overdue shift in the Astra -and other models of the Opel/Vauxhall range- that Jury members gladly salute."
The high safety standard in the Volvo XC90 was in part achieved thanks to the increased use of new advanced high strength, press hardenable steels.