Modular Multi-Energy Platforms: For Efficient Variety of Models
- New-generation Opel models based on Groupe PSA multi-energy CMP and EMP2 platforms
- High modularity and flexibility: Modular platforms offer designers greater creative freedom for vehicles with distinct personalities
- Each model will offer efficient internal combustion engine as well as electrified powertrain variants
- Lightweight design: Integration of composites, aluminium and high-strength steels
Rüsselsheim. Efficiency is the best way to protect companies in the chaotic automotive business. In order to manufacture efficient, economic and climate-friendly cars, the base design is key. This is why all passenger cars and most light commercial vehicles (LCVs) of Groupe PSA are currently derived from two modular platforms – the Common Modular Platform (CMP) and Efficient Modular Platform (EMP2). A modular platform consists primarily of the floor assembly, the chassis and various powertrains, as well as the base electric/electronic architecture. The platform is therefore the decisive factor for cost-efficient automobile manufacturing and represents 60 per cent of the material costs. Components that can be used in various vehicles are called modules. Modules for engines, seats, cockpits and infotainment systems form important parts of Groupe PSA platforms.
“Thanks to the jointly used platforms, we will – depending on the programmes – save between 20 per cent and 50 per cent of the development costs of every new Opel/Vauxhall model compared to its predecessor,” said Lohscheller.
Different variants for various segments and international markets can be developed on these modular platforms: four and five-door sedans and hatchbacks, station wagons, vans, sport utility vehicles (SUV), convertibles and coupés are possible. The Groupe PSA platform dedicated to vehicles in the B and C segments is called CMP. The new Corsa, which will make its world premiere next year, is currently being developed on this very compact platform. The Grandland X SUV and the family-friendly Combo Life leisure activity vehicle (LAV) are based on the EMP2 – which is used for passenger car C and D segments.
Managing Director Engineering Christian Müller added: “In Rüsselsheim, we are uniting the best of two worlds – highly efficient, state-of-the-art modular platforms from Groupe PSA combined with the engineering capabilities of the R&D Center in Rüsselsheim. In future, all our cars will be developed in Rüsselsheim. This way we ensure typical Opel attributes and first-class quality – in the customer’s best interests.”
Modularity and flexibility for large scope of applications and brand differentiation
Thanks to the high level of modularity combined with a variety of chassis parameters, many model variants are possible. EMP2 in particular offers a huge bandwidth that can be explored:
- four different track widths,
- five different wheelbases,
- two different cockpit architectures,
- two rear axle architectures,
- several rear vehicle modules for various versions (short, long, five or seven-seater, single seats or rear bench, combustion engine or hybrid)
- and up to six different rear vehicle assemblies, which can be produced on the same assembly line.
In addition to the possibility of combining the various elements, EMP2 also provides each individual Groupe PSA brand the option of personalising every car so that it perfectly matches the respective brand. This flexibility ensures that an Opel or a Vauxhall model is distinctively different to a sister model (Peugeot, Citroën or DS Automobiles).
Great deal of creative freedom for designers
“The high variability of the Groupe PSA CMP and EMP2 platforms allows us designers a large amount of freedom. With these great fundamental proportions, we can create an exciting portfolio of vehicles that expresses the wide personality bandwidth of our brand,” said Mark Adams, Vice President Opel/Vauxhall Design.
Thanks to the variety of track widths and the large wheel arches, maximum wheel sizes of 700 millimetres – e.g. for SUVs – are possible. The platforms’ basic design also allows wheels to be pushed outwards to give the vehicles a particularly sporty appearance. In addition, the compact engine layouts enable a low bonnet. Similarly, the vehicle floor and the seating positions have been lowered by up to 20 mm compared with previous platforms. This allows the profile of the vehicle to look lower, without the need to limit space and visibility for the customers while improving the aerodynamics thanks to a reduced front surface – a classic win-win situation.
“Hardware, software, the choice of modules, different set-ups, calibration – all this helps us create a brand-specific character for each and every car. It also permits us to safeguard the Opel DNA and make sure that it is at the core of all our models,” added Müller.
Lightweight and multi-energy design from the ground up ensures low CO2 emissions
In the development of modular platforms, the mass reduction of future vehicles is of major importance. For instance, thanks to the use of innovative lightweight materials (aluminium, high-strength steels, floor assemblies made of composite materials), the weight of EMP2 could be reduced by 70 kilogrammes in comparison to the predecessor.
In addition, platforms are made to accommodate a greater variety of powertrain modules. Both “multi-energy platforms” can accommodate modern internal combustion engines as well as electrified propulsion systems. This allows greatest possible flexibility to answer the market’s demand for electrified vehicles in the very near future. The next-generation Opel Corsa based on CMP will therefore come onto the market with efficient downsized combustion engines as well as pure electric drive. As for EMP2, it has the additional option of hybrid drive, with which the all-wheel drive Opel Grandland X PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) will make its debut in 2019. Thanks to the use of these multi-energy, modular platforms, all Opel passenger car models sold in Europe will have an electrified version as early as 2024.
The concept of providing multi-energy options for each platform is a smart approach to dealing with an ambiguous outlook on the future propulsion mix. Groupe PSA brands can respond to market demand in a flexible way, by having multiple options and manufacturing the variants on the same production lines.
Synchronised manufacturing process in all plants
Modular platforms for the five Groupe PSA brands (Opel, Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles) also facilitate the efficient manufacturing of vehicles at all production sites. They are designed to enable fully automated body assembly. Furthermore, the common parts for each site can be obtained from the nearest Groupe PSA component plant. Logistics are improved by deliveries in small consignments, unnecessary warehousing is avoided and space requirements are reduced to a minimum.
The working conditions on the assembly line were also considered during the design of the platforms. For both, great emphasis was put on easing work required on the underside of the floor, which is one of the most strenuous jobs. 80 per cent of the overhead work is prevented by preparing the parts in the component area and avoiding their attachment from below during the “wedding”.
Further information about official fuel consumption, official specific CO2 emissions and consumption of electric energy can be found in the “guideline about fuel consumption, CO2 Emissions and electric energy consumption of new passenger cars” ('Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO2-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen') in German language, which is available free of charge at any point of sales and at DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Helmuth-Hirth-Straße 1, D-73760 Ostfildern.
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