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Cadillac lightweights luxury cars with aluminum, AHSS parts

Keywords: Tags  Cadillac, lightweighting, sedans, aluminum, advanced high strength steel, AHSS, CTS, ATS. Corinna Petry cast aluminum

CHICAGO — Greater use of aluminum is helping Cadillac reduce overall weight of its ATS and CTS sedans, the luxury automaker said.

"By rethinking very traditional elements, such as  materials used for bumpers and doors, we are able to save precious weight," CTS program engineering manager John Plonka said in a statement.

The company, a subsidiary of General Motors Co., said it cut 13.1 pounds by replacing CTS steel bumpers with aluminum, 14 pounds by making front strut towers of cast aluminum, 7.2 pounds by replacing cast magnesium with extruded and stamped aluminum in the instrument panel structure and 36.5 pounds by using extruded and cast aluminum in the powertrain cradle, formerly produced with steel. For the first time, all four doors will also be built with aluminum, cutting 55 pounds compared with the steel doors on the previous generation CTS, the company said May 9.

CTS also uses several grades of advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) throughout the structure, it said.

With a base curb weight of 3,600 pounds, CTS is the lightest vehicle in its class, Cadillac added.

Strategic use of aluminum also contributed to weight reduction in the ATS luxury sport sedan, which shares architecture with the new CTS sedan. The ATS powertrain features extensive use of aluminum, including the hood, suspension cradle and cylinder heads, the company said.

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