On February 5th, Constellium announced that it is supplying BMW with aluminum structural components for the new X model sports activity vehicles, X4 and X5. The aluminum parts will be supplied from Constellium’s White, Georgia plant, which opened in 2017 to serve automakers in the Southeast U.S. Constellium has been a partner of BMW Group for over 10 years as a supplier of both rolled products and structural components.
Constellium provides aluminum front crash management systems for both the BMW X4 and X5. The crash management systems are built to absorb energy in collisions to protect passengers, as well as the integrity of the vehicle. The front rails for the BMW X5, which are part of the vehicle architecture and support the engine are also comprised of aluminum supplied. The front rails serve to absorb energy in the event of a high-speed collision.
BMW X4 and X5 aluminum crash management systems also play an important role in pedestrian safety. The systems feature a second smaller bumper beam that can help to prevent a pedestrian from falling under the car in the unfortunate event of an impact.
Both the X4 and X5 are considered crossovers, utilizing a “unibody” structure where the body and frame are one piece, hence providing the look of a smaller SUV. In comparison, a traditional SUV use a body-on-frame design over a truck chassis. The X4 is a sporty coupe-like crossover that has a 355 horsepower six-cylinder engine. BMW’s X5 is slightly more roomy than the X4 and is available in 3.0 liter six-cylinder or 5.0 liter V8 engine models. The V8 version features 456 horsepower and 478 lb-ft. of torque.
Aluminum is the ideal material for the X4 and X5 auto components according to Constellium, thanks to the metal’s superior energy absorption properties. In addition, using aluminum for vehicle components helps automakers save weight when compared to traditional steel systems, improving fuel economy and lowering emissions.
“We are very proud to expand our relationship with BMW Group to include the White, Georgia, plant,” said Lionel Chapis, general manager for Constellium’s Automotive Structures business. “The White, Georgia facility offers state-of-the-art forming, joining, laser cutting and quality control to meet the high-volume needs of our customers.”