Included in Part 2 of our look at the Acura TLX are several additional images. This Body-In-White vehicle was on display at the International Auto Show courtesy of the American Iron & Steel Institute.
Shown here is an interesting new vehicle structural development. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety created a new crash test called the small overlap test. In their crash test lab, they run the vehicle into a barrier with only 25% of the front contacting the barrier. It simulates a driver’s headlight to driver’s headlight type head-on collision.
To score better in that test, we see that Acura engineers have now connected the Upper Rail (590 KPa tensile strength steel shown in tan) to the front frame rail (red-color 780 KPa tensile strength steel) with a new section of ultra high-strength steel (440 KPa tensile strength steel shown in blue).
So what, you ask? Well, Upper Rails used to be unsupported at their front end so when we do dash jacking or dash rolls, they would move as we want. Now, with a connected Upper Rail, we’re going to have to anticipate resistance. In this instructor’s opinion, this makes cutting and especially notching of the Upper Rail even more important at a crash scene when dash jacking or dash rolling is required.
The light blue firewall and floorpan consists of 440 KPa tensile strength steel. The instrument panel however (shown in purple) is all Magnesium. Note that there is only one dash tie down to the center tunnel. The column is supported to this structure on the left and the passenger front airbag would be secured to it on the right side.
The tan-colored steel represents 590 KPa tensile strength steel on this Acura TLX. Note that the A-pillar and B-pillar also contain sections of 980 KPa tensile strength steel (shown in green). That is the highest strength steel in the entire vehicle! Without a new generation power cutter, you will not be able to get through this A- or B-pillar. The red rocker is ultra high-strength 780 KPa tensile strength steel.
Next in this series of Body-in-White images will be a 2015 Murano SUV Body-in-White and a new Chevy Colorado pickup truck structure. Standby…!