March 17, 2003: 2004 Cadillac XLR - Advanced Structure and Chassis Create Remarkable Blend of Luxury and Performance
FOR RELEASE: March 17, 2003
Kelly Cusinato, Cadillac Communications
David Caldwell, GM Product Communications
Cadillac XLR - Advanced Structure and Chassis Create Remarkable Blend of Luxury and Performance
Underneath the surface, the 2004 Cadillac XLR has a foundation of technology that matches its striking exterior style. Never before has a GM production vehicle cast such a sophisticated shadow as the XLR, which begins appearing at Cadillac dealerships this summer. The car’s remarkable body structure and chassis make the XLR a luxury roadster with genuine performance car roots.
The story starts with the XLR’s backbone, upon which the car’s dynamic capabilities depend. Based on the next generation of GM’s performance car architecture, this unique and patented structure comprises steel hydroformed perimeter frame rails, enclosed structural "tunnel," aluminum cockpit structure and balsa-cored composite floors. Providing rigidity without bulk, and with exceptional resistance to torsional and bending forces, this architecture is the basis for the XLR’s outstanding ride and handling characteristics.
"The patented performance car architecture is designed specifically for an open car, and creates the ideal foundation for the blend of luxury and performance attributes of the XLR," said David Hill, vehicle line executive for GM’s Performance Cars.
XLR - lightweight and balanced
Another advantage of Cadillac’s roadster not shared by the competition is its rear-mounted transmission. This helps give the XLR a virtually 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution for superior balance, as well as providing occupants unusually roomy footwell space.
Compared to most convertible cars, the XLR will feel more rigid and solid, regardless of the whether the top is up or down.
Building on XLR’s solid structural foundation, Cadillac engineers added several technologically advanced chassis features, including StabiliTrak active handling, Magnetic Ride Control and Magnasteer. "A high-speed data network in the car allows these electronic systems to share information and work together as an integrated system," said Leone. "The effect on the driver is a car that is smooth and well-controlled, yet maintains excellent ’feel’ and responsiveness."
A luxury roadster with performance car roots
The XLR employs one of the most sophisticated and integrated electronic chassis control systems in the industry. However, unlike some rival systems, which can interfere aggressively with control of the car, the XLR’s chassis control system is developed to be as unobtrusive and transparent as possible to the driver.
Four-channel StabiliTrak system
StabiliTrak also integrates the XLR’s anti-lock brake system, traction control system, powertrain and Magnetic Ride Control system in order to manage the car’s handling.
Magnetic Ride Control - World’s fastest reacting suspension
The secret behind Magnetic Ride Control is the magneto-rheological fluid contained in its dampers, replacing traditional mechanical valves. Suspended in this fluid are tiny iron particles that respond to an electromagnetic charge.
In the presence of a charge, the iron particles align themselves into fibrous structures that almost instantaneously create precise and wide-ranging damping characteristics. With sensors reading the road surface at a rate of 1 inch at 60 mph, the system responds by commanding constant changes in damping force at all four corners. The goal is to maintain tire contact with the road surface and to keep the body on an even plane, with smooth, well-controlled body motions even during aggressive maneuvers or on uneven road surfaces.
In relation to active handling, the Magnetic Ride controller will activate if needed to help respond to weight transfer, or roll gradient, of the vehicle - for example during braking, it may stiffen the damping rate in one or more corners to maintain smooth body motions.
A key enabler for the effectiveness of the XLR’s various electronic control systems is a local area network (LAN) high-speed communication bus. This links StabiliTrak, Magnetic Ride Control, ABS, traction control and powertrain control and allows the instantaneous interaction necessary for successful operation.
To ensure the XLR exhibits precise, responsive steering, Cadillac has adopted Magnasteer, a speed-variable power-assisted system, combining conventional hydraulics with patented electro-magnetic control technology. Steering effort is applied via magnetized "doughnuts" mounted around the output shaft, which stiffen the rate as vehicle speed increases. The system is tuned to begin subtly increasing effort after about 40 miles per hour. This allows for effortless low-speed maneuverability for parking and increased control at high speeds.
XLR with extended mobility tires
The wheels include a pressure monitoring system that transmits pressure within one pound per square inch from each tire to the driver information center, alerting the driver if there has been a loss of pressure.
Cadillac XLR key structural features:
Key chassis features:
|Posted by: Rob Loszewski - December 20, 2016. This article has been viewed 3293 times.|
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