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January 6, 2003
Alcoa and General Motors Combine Design, Engineering Talents to Create Cadillac Sixteen Concept Car, an Ultimate Luxury Sedan
PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 6, 2003--General Motors and
Alcoa (NYSE:AA) have combined their design and engineering talents to
create the Cadillac Sixteen concept, an ultimate luxury sedan. The
Sixteen represents the successful integration of the art of design and
styling with the science of aluminum structural design and advanced
"Working with General Motors to help them create this intriguing
sedan presented Alcoa with the opportunity to demonstrate more than
two decades of structural design and engineering expertise. The
Sixteen's aluminum auto structure is unique in its capacity to meet
significant vehicle performance, occupant comfort and safety
requirements while accommodating the sedan's aesthetic needs,"
according to Robert S. Hughes, Alcoa's Executive Vice President in
charge of the automotive market sector.
The Cadillac Sixteen has also become a demonstrator for
leading-edge automotive aluminum engineering. Alcoa has integrated a
number of its latest automotive technologies into this vehicle.
"Whether the requirement is for energy-absorbing bumpers, or for an
upper body design supporting GM's desire for an unparalleled passenger
view, or for the assurance that the Sixteen will be easily recyclable,
Alcoa's aluminum structure and body panels deliver against all of
these needs," Hughes added.
"Because the 16-cylinder engine will be the jewel of this concept
vehicle, we asked Alcoa to provide an engine compartment that would
also be an appropriate setting," said David Bolognino, GM's project
manager for the Sixteen. "Working together, we were able to accomplish
this task by taking a different approach to distributing the forces
from the wheels and suspension components throughout the body."
"Helping GM achieve their unique goals for making the Sixteen the
ultimate in passenger comfort and safety mandated a significant
departure from traditional structural design and engineering,"
according to Eric F.M. Winter, Alcoa Automotives' Vice President of
Engineering. "We accomplished this by integrating advanced materials,
such as aluminum-foam floor composite panels, with different product
forms, including large, complex castings, hydroformed extrusions and
The Sixteen's body structure meets GM's torsion and bending
stiffness requirements while providing a 50% weight savings over
comparable steel structures. The Sixteen's aluminum structure weighs
about the same as that a conventional, mid-sized family sedan.
The advanced automotive aluminum design concepts and technologies
Alcoa has featured in the Sixteen include:
- a rigid structural backbone comprised of a reinforced central
tunnel coupled with composite floor panels providing stiffness
- a one-piece front cowl and seat back providing significant
part consolidation while stiffening and strengthening the
- energy-absorbing aluminum crash management systems;
- cast A, B and C pillars facilitating part integration,
attachment reinforcement and stiffness;
- structural members designed to package electrical distribution
- a light weight, one-piece tubular drive shaft;
- alloys selected to facilitate recycling; closure panels
designed to integrate power drive units; and,
- door designs utilizing a new structural concept; and, 24-inch
forged and polished aluminum wheels.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum,
fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of
the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging,
building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial
markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other
capabilities of Alcoa's businesses as a single solution to customers.
In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets
consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) aluminum foil, Alcoa(R)
wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are
vinyl siding, closures, precision castings, and electrical
distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 129,000
employees in 38 countries. For more information go to www.alcoa.com