Gordon Murray’s iStream assembly process could revolutionize the way we make cars
Gallery - 9 images
  • 2015 Gordon Murray Design iStream Carbon Concept
  • 2015 Gordon Murray Design iStream Carbon Concept
  • 2015 Gordon Murray Design iStream Carbon Concept
  • 2015 Gordon Murray Design iStream Carbon Concept
  • 2015 Gordon Murray Design iStream Carbon Concept
  • 2015 Gordon Murray Design iStream Carbon Concept
  • 2015 Gordon Murray Design iStream Carbon Concept
  • 2015 Gordon Murray Design iStream Carbon Concept
  • 2015 Gordon Murray Design iStream Carbon Concept

When Yamaha revealed their all-new Sports Ride Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, along with it was Gordon Murray’s newly touted iStream assembly and manufacturing process for platforms ans chassis, which the Sports Ride Concept is based on.

According to Gordon Murray Design, the iStream Carbon Chassis is touted as a new way to conduct assembly of cars in a low-investment and low production cost manner, allowing sub-premium models to be made at volumes ranging from 1,000 to 350,000 units annually in an efficient manner.

Mr. Murray himself says it’s the world’s first affordable high volume carbon fiber chassis structure bringing Formula One materials and technology within reach of the everyday motorist.” So not only does it make carbon fiber car construction easier and more accessible, it promises to pave the way to introduce more carbon fiber-based and built cars, especially on the mainstream level.

Since most carbon fiber constructions today are often left for high-end performance and exotic cars, this could be a huge breakthrough for the mainstream market, who seeks to reduce CO2 emissions and boost fuel economy–a mission that’s highly bolstered by the quest to reduce overall curb weights of cars.

Altogether, the iStream Carbon process is fully mechanized as well, allowing for a “cycle time of just 100 seconds.”

“Light weighting is important for internal combustion engined cars, but even more important for hybrids and electric vehicles,” Gordon Murray said in his statement. “iStream and iStream Carbon is that step change and is the world’s first affordable, high volume bonded composite structure which sets new standards of safety, rigidity and durability.”

You can check out the rest in the press release below.

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Gordon Murray Design announce ‘iSTREAM® CARBON’ a revolution in automotive manufacturing

iStream® Carbon is being shown for the first time at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show and is the chassis technology used for the Yamaha ‘Sports Ride Concept’ sports car project.

The ‘Sports Ride Concept’ is an in house Yamaha concept design based on an iStream® Carbon chassis developed at Gordon Murray Design working with the Yamaha team.

iStream® Carbon is the world’s first affordable high volume carbon fibre chassis structure bringing Formula One materials and technology within reach of the everyday motorist.

iStream® Carbon sets new standards in the Automotive industry for chassis light weighting, rigidity and safety.

iStream® Carbon is derived directly from Gordon Murray Design’s highly successful iStream® Manufacturing System.

iStream® offers manufacturers:

  • A lightweight chassis system without the cost increases associated with all current light weighting technologies.
  • A large reduction in capital investment.
  • A significant reduction in manufacturing energy.
  • New levels of product flexibility from a single platform.
  • New levels of chassis rigidity and durability and corrosion resistance.
  • New levels of safety.

The new system replaces the glass content in iStream® with carbon fibre which offers even more performance for lightweight and rigidity.

Gordon Murray Design Limited has been developing iStream® Carbon for the last 2 years with partners Toray Industries, Innovate UK and ELG, and the process is now fully industrialised.

Unlike any other carbon fibre chassis technology, iStream® Carbon is a fully mechanised system with a cycle time of just 100 seconds. iStream® Carbon is true Formula One racing technology utilising two carbon skins sandwiching a honeycomb core, unlike many expensive handmade supercars which employ monolithic (single skin carbon panels).

The low cost investment and piece part cost of iStream® Carbon components will enable it to be used in sub premium market segments.

iStream® and iStream® Carbon can cater with annual production volumes between 1,000 and 350,000 units per year at a cycle time of 100 seconds and can reduce capital investment by up to 80% reducing manufacturing energy by up to 60% whilst offering new levels of rigidity, corrosion resistance, safety, durability and low cost light weighting.

iStream® and iStream® Carbon represent a major step change in automotive manufacturing.

Gordon Murray Design Chairman – Professor Gordon Murray said:

“Light weighting is the final frontier in the automotive industry fight to lower emissions. There have been great strides forward in engine design, electrical control systems, tyre design and transmission technology, but we are now experiencing a plateau in the advance of technology where the law of diminishing returns comes into play. A step change in vehicle weight to enable downsizing of powertrain and components is all we have left in the armoury. Light weighting is important for internal combustion engined cars, but even more important for hybrids and electric vehicles.

iStream® and iStream® Carbon is that step change and is the world’s first affordable, high volume bonded composite structure which sets new standards of safety, rigidity and durability.

iStream® delivers performance through lightweight.

iStream® Carbon does not replace our existing iStream® manufacturing process, it sits alongside our standard system to open up more market segments for us. We are currently working on 7 vehicles using our original iStream® technology”.

AUTOMOTIVE STRUCTURAL COMPOSITES

Gordon Murray Design have a history of innovation in structural composites.

Timeline

1974 The first composite rear wing Brabham BT44.

1976 The first use of carbon brakes on a car – Brabham BT45.

1978 The first use of carbon panels in a racing car – Brabham BT49.

1982 The first composite roll over system – Brabham BT52.

1992 The world’s first all carbon road car – McLaren F.1.

1992 The first carbon clutch in a road car – McLaren F.1.

1999 The formation of a concept to use Formula One composites technology in high volume at low cost.

2003 The first productionised carbon manufacturing system in low volume – Mercedes McLaren SLR.

2008 The setting up of Gordon Murray Design Limited to develop the iStream® manufacturing system.

2010 The first iStream® vehicle shown – GMD T.25.

2011 The first iStream® electric vehicle shown – GMD T.27.

2013 The first customer iStream® vehicle shown at the Tokyo Motor Show – Yamaha MOTIV.e.

2015 The announcement of the first production customer to use iStream® – TVR.

2015 The showing of a customer sports car at the Tokyo Motor Show – Yamaha ‘Sports Ride Concept’.

2015 The announcement of iStream® Carbon.

– By: Chris Chin


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  • RussB

    Lightweighting is, of course, less important for hybrids and electric vehicles from a CO2 perspective. Because they are more efficient than ICs to begin with, reducing the road load gives less of an energy savings. This means you get less of a return on the huge amounts of CO2 you emit by making all of that CF.